Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bailout Deal might fail

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U.S. lawmakers on Sunday were set to sign off on a deal to create a $700 billion government fund to buy bad debt from ailing banks in a bid to stem a credit crisis threatening the global economy. After marathon talks into the wee hours of Sunday morning, congressional leaders from both parties emerged with an agreement that altered key parts of a Wall Street bailout program initially proposed by the Bush administration. The preceding week of negotiations over the rescue package roiled financial markets and altered the course of the U.S. presidential campaign less than six weeks before the election. "We've made great progress," House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters after the talks. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson lobbied hard for the package -- the largest bailout in U.S. history -- saying it would keep credit markets from grinding to a halt under the burden of bad mortgage-backed bonds created by banks at a time when it looked like home prices had nowhere to go but up. Congress was racing to reach an agreement before Asian financial markets open on Monday to avoid a repeat of last week's white-knuckle volatility. It was unclear when the House and the Senate would vote on the bailout legislation, or whether last-minute hitches might arise. U.S. President George W. Bush spoke with Pelosi on Saturday evening and news of a deal was welcomed at the White House.

Bailout deal breaks down; Bernanke back to Capitol
Could be over the historical rainbow for cycling wizard Bettini 2 Iraqi researchers sue ... All: u.s. world: politics: business: sports: entertainment: sci/tech: health: odd: video ...
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My Way News - Bernanke: Approve bailout or risk recession
... act on the Bush administration's $700 billion plan to bail out ... Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked if $150 billion might be ... said that would be a "grave mistake," and would fail to ...
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Cached Money & Business: AP Article
Democrats claim progress in reaching bailout deal . By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO ... Frank indicated they might ultimately drop a requirement that a portion of any profits ...
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Bailout fails to prevent chaos
Deal on U.S. bank bailout in sight: Bush. U.S. lawmakers and the White ... Bailout fails to prevent chaos Oil prices soar as U.S ... but refused to reveal what those measures might be
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The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA - AP NEWS
Barney Frank predicts bailout deal by Sunday . By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO ... Frank indicated they might ultimately drop a requirement that a portion of any profits ...
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Troubled bailout talks restarted — with urgency
Wachovia Begins Early Deal Talks with Citi ... and Congress anxiously revived negotiations on a $700 billion financial bailout on ... Frank indicated they might ultimately drop a requirement that a portion of any ...
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Source: CNBC
NewsDateTime: 9/26/2008

Wachovia, looking for help, turns to Citigroup
The talks are early, and no deal may emerge from them. But it appeared Wachovia was seeking potential alternatives should the bailout plan being debated in Washington not pass quickly, or fail to ... What the bailout might do, however, is relieve ...
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Source: International Herald Tribune
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

What’s Free About Free Enterprise?
A huge bailout plan is being hammered out in Washington precisely to avert this kind ... Once the federal government declares, “Thou shalt not fail,” there are no ... into the future, and as the crisis finally passes into history, how will we deal ...
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Source: The Ledger
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

Top Democrats vow to reach bailout deal
Top Democrats vow to reach bailout deal Senate Majority Leader Reid: ... especially after Washington Mutual Inc. became the largest U.S. bank to fail. ... going to be in session next week,” the Nevada Democrat said, adding there might ...
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Source: MSNBC
NewsDateTime: 9/26/2008

Congress, White House reach financial bailout deal
Congress, White House reach financial bailout deal ... The $700 billion bailout package might actually be worth it!
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NewsDateTime: 7 hours ago

The next step will involve selling the deal to rank-and-file lawmakers, who have been unhappy over signing on to a giant bailout package just weeks before the November elections. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) said that he planned to talk to colleagues and get reactions. Lawmakers had entered a new round of meetings shortly after 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, with pizzas headed to one office and a platter from sandwich shop Cosi being delivered into the House Speaker's office. By roughly 11:30 p.m., what Sen. Reid described as a "breakthrough" came in the form of an idea from Ms. Pelosi that was enough to advance talks. "She took over at the last minute," a House staffer familiar with the talks said Sunday morning. "The last hour-and-a-half she really brought things together and made it possible to reach this point." Ms. Pelosi found middle ground with other negotiators on provisions aimed at allowing the federal government to recoup money for taxpayers if the asset-purchase program isn't making money after a certain amount of time. A House leadership aide said early Sunday morning that details were not immediately available because the staff was still finalizing language, but that the general concept was to provide Congress with a mechanism that would be triggered at some point in time -- likely within five years -- that would allow lawmakers to offset some, if not all, of the bailout costs. One idea that has been floated by both conservative House Democrats and Senate Democrats has been to create a deposit insurance fund similar to the one operated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for bank accounts. A Senate aide said they were pushing provisions that would address such concerns, mainly by assessing fees on a wide swath of financial institutions over a certain asset size to create a privately-funded rescue fund to pay for any future and current bailouts. Offers and counteroffers were flowing back and forth all night. Among the offers extended by Democrats: an agreement to drop a proposal to devote 20% of potential profits to an affordable housing fund, according to a Senate staffer close to the talks. A House staffer reached after the deal announcement was made confirmed that lawmakers did decide to drop the affordable housing fund proposals, which would have potentially directed billions to state and local governments to fund housing projects. One of the biggest sticking points involved concerns that executives at troubled financial institutions would wind up benefiting from handsome pay packages as the government took on more risks. But Democrats emerging from the talks said a whole array of issues related to executive pay had been addressed, including issues involving "golden parachutes," the big pay packages that are sometimes awarded to departing executives. Mr. Dodd said that protections against golden-parachute awards had made it into the final deal, along with an insurance component sought by House Republicans as an option for the Treasury to use if necessary and requirements that Treasury is seeking to mitigate and reduce foreclosures where possible. Overall, staff said they had successfully expanded the original two-and-a-half-page Treasury proposal delivered to Congress a week ago to include significant oversight of the asset-purchase program, executive compensation restrictions, the potential for equity stakes in firms that participate in the asset-sale program, and other protections for taxpayers that will be key to attracting bipartisan support during votes this week. The summary issued by Ms. Pelosi's office said the legislation will include provisions giving Treasury the ability to work with cash-strapped homeowners whose mortgages are purchased by the federal government to refinance into a more affordable mortgage. Other foreclosure-prevention measures included in the agreement are an extension of the tax holiday for homeowners who face foreclosure, as well as a tax break for community banks who held shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The rescue plan will allow affected banks to take an immediate tax deduction on losses from investments in the two firms, which were taken over by the federal government earlier this month. Lawmakers also included provisions allowing them to keep a close eye on the Treasury program, including a bipartisan oversight board appointed by members of both parties in Congress, an inspector general to monitor Treasury decisions, and regular audits from the Government Accountability Office. Additionally, Treasury will be required to make transactions made through the troubled asset program available publicly online. Unlike the original Treasury proposal, which would have given the department legal immunity in the program, the tentative agreement reached late Saturday allows for judicial review of Treasury decisions. Some lawmakers had set a deadline of reaching a deal by the time the Asian markets open Sunday evening. In a sign of how sensitive Congress is to market reaction, lawmakers stayed in touch with outside experts during the negotiations, including talking to billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Associated Press Sen. Charles Schumer, left, Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Jack Reed take a short break during ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill Saturday. The bailout negotiations had taken a step forward Friday, when Senate Democrats agreed to include an insurance-based scheme as an option as part of the Wall Street bailout package in a bid to win support of House Republicans, who have been the main obstacle to reaching an agreement. After an apparent agreement was announced by lawmakers Thursday, House Republicans threw a wrench into the process by saying they would not support the deal, proposing instead their own alternative plan. That plan would be based around the idea of an industry-funded insurance pool to provide certainty to the markets, rather than a taxpayer-funded scheme.

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Published on: 9/22/2008 8:03:52 PM

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