The Washington Post reports that the Dow Jones recorded its largest closing point drop in history overnight after the US House of Representatives narrowly defeated the Bush government’s proposed $700 billion bailout bill:

“The 228-205 vote amounted to a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and was sure to sow massive anxiety in world markets. Just 11 days ago, Paulson urged congressional leaders to quickly approve the bailout. He warned that inaction would lead to a seizure of credit markets and a virtual halt to the lending that allows Americans to acquire mortgages and other types of loans.

“As it became apparent that the measure was heading to defeat, stock markets took a steep dive and stayed down. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 777.68 points, recording a fall of nearly 7 percent and its largest closing point drop in history. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq each lost about 9 percent.”

Read the full story here.