Monday, September 29, 2008

US Finance Crisis: Modified Bailout Plan \ Apostasy

WASHINGTON - The House braced for a difficult vote set for Monday on a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry after a weekend of tense negotiations produced a plan that Congressional leaders portrayed as greatly strengthened by new taxpayer safeguards.

The 110-page bill, intended to ease a growing
credit crisis, came after a frenzied week of political twists and turns that culminated in an agreement between the Bush administration and Congress early Sunday morning. […]

The bill calls for disbursing the money in parts, starting with $250 billion followed by $100 billion at the discretion of the president. The Treasury can request the remaining $350 billion at any time, and Congress must act to deny it if it disapproves... The New York Times

While many Republican lawmakers seek to distance themselves from the plan, or disown it altogether, White House officials hope the heated opposition gradually will cool if the plan works.

Many frustrated conservatives see Bush's rescue plan, on top of his decision to invade Iraq, as cementing his legacy as a big-government conservative. To others, it marks his apostasy from conservative orthodoxy… The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Bailout Failed

The spirit of bipartisan US congressional cooperation that brought the Wall Street bailout bill to the vote has fallen apart in a rancorous slanging match, amid talk of a "poisoned" debate. […] The New York Stock Exchange suffered its worst ever single-day points drop as news broke of the failed bailout bill. Telegraph UK

Friday, September 26, 2008

Obama and McCain: No Financial Bailout Deal

The presidential campaign swept loudly into Washington on September 25 as Barack Obama and John McCain met with President Bush and congressional leaders at the White House to discuss a massive bailout of the nation's ailing financial markets.

The candidates' much-ballyhooed return from the trail, however, appeared to produce more theater than lawmaking. …
Los Angeles Times


German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck’s speech on global financial markets at the Bundestag (prior to the White House meeting).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wall Street’s NYSE: Investment Bank Stocks Plunged

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2008 - Shares of investment banks tumbled Monday morning as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch & Co. brokered a sale to Bank of America Corp.
Lehman Brothers stock was virtually wiped out at the opening bell after the storied investment bank, wracked by the credit crisis and mortgage-backed investments, filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Its shares gave up $3.40, or 93 percent, to 25 cents in morning trading. The stock was trading at a 52-week high of $68.44 in November.

Shares of Merrill were the one bright spot. Under terms of its sale, Bank of America would exchange 0.8595 shares of its common stock for each Merrill Lynch common share. Merrill shares soared $4.86, or 28.5 percent, to $21.90. …

Supplementary: McCain, Obama Confront the Market.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Frank-Walter Steinmeier to run against Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany's beleaguered Social Democratic party (SPD) yesterday named the foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to run against Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's general election.

With the nomination of a moderate, the SPD hopes to halt its sinking popularity and resolve an internal battle between old-school leftwingers and liberal reformists.

An emergency meeting of party leaders near Potsdam, outside Berlin, also named Franz Müntefering to replace Kurt Beck, who is stepping down as party chairman. … Guardian UK