Any lingering doubts that we have wandered into a financial quagmire can now be dispelled. The question is how far down we will sink.

The US, UK and Eurozone economies are teetering on the brink of recession. As GDP growth slows to a standstill, some analysts say several countries are there already, and few expect the situation to improve before the year's end.

In case you have somehow dodged all known news media in the last 12 hours, stockmarket shares in the US plummeted yesterday (29 September) after a $700bn government bailout for the market was unexpectedly rejected by Congress last night.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 7% in a day, its worst ever one-day fall. Markets in Asia, particularly Japan, quickly caught the cold, although London's stockmarket has rallied this morning on optimism that a US bailout package would eventually be agreed.

A bailout is needed, supporters say, to kick-start the flow of capital by encouraging banks to begin lending to each other.

Drinks firms of all types are waiting in the wings to see how things will play out from here. Initial fallout could see capital for loans drying up, but the biggest threat for many is that the current crisis spills over into the wider economy.

Recession would likely be marked by rising unemployment and inflation, which would further dampen consumer spending power. US unemployment is at its highest level for seven years.

In soft drinks, The Pepsi Bottling Group said today that a weakening economy had hit the whole "refreshment beverage" market in the US and Canada.

In alcoholic drinks, Pernod Ricard said last week that it had noted a growing trend away from the on-trade in the US, but that sales were holding firm.

A Pernod spokesperson told just-drinks today that its guidance for the year remained unchanged, but repeated a warning from two weeks ago that a "severe deterioration" of the business climate could affect growth.

One of the worst days ever for the US stock market would look to be pretty severe. However, people should guard against knee-jerk reactions until the dust settles.

Congress is set to reconvene on Thursday to negotiate a possible new bailout package.