Was the life raft full of lead? Despite efforts to halt a weeks-long sell-off, the Shanghai Composite index sank in early trading, falling as much as 8 percent. According to Bloomberg, share suspensions overnight resulted in the freeze of $2.6 trillion in equity, leading to panic. Unorthodox central bank interventions — helping banks get cash to buy shares — buoyed trading back to just a 5.9 percent decline by early afternoon. But investors will now be watching American and European markets closely for further signs of instability.