Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said growing number of mortgage defaults will not seriously harm the U.S. economy. Wednesday, June 2007: Two Bear Stearns-run hedge funds with large holdings of subprime mortgages run into large losses and are forced to dump assets. The trouble spreads to major Wall Street firms such as Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs which had loaned the firms money. July 2007: Investment bank Bear Stearns tells investors they will get little, if any, of the money invested in two of its hedge funds after rival banks refuse to help it bail them out. Thursday, August 9, 2007: Investment bank BNP Paribas tells investors they will not be able to take money out of two of its funds because it cannot value the assets in them, owing to a "complete evaporation of liquidity" in the market. The European Central Bank pumps 95bn euros (£63bn) into the banking market to try to improve liquidity. It adds a further 108.7bn euros over the next few days. The US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of Japan also begin to intervene. Friday, August 17, 2007: The Fed cuts the rate at which it lends to banks by half of a percentage point to 5.75%, warning the credit crunch could be a risk to economic growth. Tuesday, August 28, 2007: German Sachsen Landesbank faces collapse after investing in the sub-prime market. The bank is rescued by its competitor Baden-Wuerttemberg Landesbank. Monday, September 3, 2007: German corporate lender IKB announces a $1bn loss on investments linked to the US sub-prime market 2 Tuesday, September 4, 2007: The rate at which banks lend to each other rises to its highest level since December 1998. The so-called Libor rate is 6.7975%, way above the Bank of England's 5.75% base rate; banks either worry whether other banks will survive, or urgently need the money themselves Thursday, September 13, 2007: The BBC reveals Northern Rock has asked for and been granted emergency financial support from the Bank of England, in the latter's role as lender of last resort. Northern Rock relied heavily on the markets, rather than savers' deposits, to fund its mortgage lending. The onset of the credit crunch has dried up its funding.