Friday, September 26, 2008

Bailout deal very close

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A deal in principle for a $700-billion bailout of U.S. financial markets ran into trouble tonight after House Republicans objected to the plan and said they hadn’t been included in negotiations. Advertisement Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson went to Capitol Hill to try to revive or rework the proposal, but talks broke off without agreement and were to continue Friday morning. The stresses of politics and finance came to a head during a meeting convened by President George W. Bush with congressional leaders and presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Democrats said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized the deal struck earlier today without offering specifics for how to improve it. A Boehner spokesman said he wasn’t at the meeting and couldn’t discuss the minority leader’s criticisms. Boehner had asked a group of Republican House members to draft the outline of an alternative plan, one that would sell insurance on troubled mortgage-backed loans rather than spend $700 billion on buying troubled debt, as Paulson has proposed. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the speaker urged Bush at the meeting to get House Republicans behind his plan. A key Senate Republican, Richard Shelby of Alabama, also remained opposed. “That agreement is obviously no agreement,” Shelby said after the White House conference. The squabbling halted whatever momentum the bailout plan had generated today — it lifted U.S. stock markets — and threw Friday night’s scheduled presidential debate into doubt. McCain, in suspending his campaign Wednesday, had called on the debate to be postponed. The McCain and Obama campaigns released a joint statement Wednesday addressing the crisis, but McCain rejected a call from Obama to support the principles that lawmakers eventually agreed to today.

Deal close on $700 billion financial bailout plan
WASHINGTON -- President Bush is bringing presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain into negotiations on a $700 billion rescue of Wall Street as Democrats and Republicans ...
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WNYC - News - Racing Association Close to Bailout Deal with State
Headlines. Bloomberg Not Sure Wall Street Bailout Will Work; MTA Raises Ventilation Grates to Prevent Subway Flooding; City Tries to Persuade Crown Heights Residents on Homeless ...
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Deal close on $700 billion financial bailout plan
President Bush is bringing presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain into negotiations on a $700 billion rescue of Wall Street as Democrats and Republicans near ...
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NewsDaily: Bailout deal near as Bush to meet lawmakers
Congress looked close to reaching a deal to approve a $700 billion plan to bail out the U.S. financial system and President George W. Bush called an emergency meeting for Thursday ...
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Deal close on $700 billion financial bailout plan : NPR
Bush to address nation tonight on economy woes ... Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, left, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifies on Capitol Hill in ...
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Rep. Barney Frank predicts bailout deal by Sunday
The Bush administration and Congress anxiously revived negotiations Friday on a $700 billion financial bailout, one day after the largest bank collapse in U.S. history provided a brutal reminder of the risks of failure. "I'm convinced that by Sunday ...
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Source: Seattle Times
NewsDateTime: 27 minutes ago

Wall Street closes mixed amid bailout concerns
Your Business: Knowing when to close the business ... Friday after the Bush administration’s proposal for a $700 billion banking bailout ... With no deal in place as trading ended Friday, investors were certainly going to ...
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Source: MSNBC
NewsDateTime: 49 minutes ago

US Congress restarts troubled bailout talks
Bailout deal melts in partisan rancor ... Vice President Dick Cheney, who is particularly close with the conservative wing of the party, canceled a trip to devote ...
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Source: International Herald Tribune
NewsDateTime: 5 hours ago

Asian Markets Slide as US Bailout Plan Stalls
... bailout remained unclear as a White House meeting with confrontational officials ended without an agreement and some participants said talks had hit a major snag . A person close to presidential candidate John McCain said "there is no deal ... deal" — a sentiment echoed by sources close ...
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Source: CNBC
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago

U.S. Stocks Rise on Speculation Congress Is Near Bailout Plan
There's no question a deal will get worked out and it will ultimately be what the market ... four days yesterday as speculation grew that Congress would reach agreement on the bank bailout plan, before negotiations stalled last night after the close ...
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Source: Bloomberg
NewsDateTime: 49 minutes ago

In a speech before today’s White House meeting, McCain agreed the plan should include oversight, some way for the government to recoup money and limits on executive pay. “I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners and earn the confidence of the American people,” McCain said. Lawmakers earlier had said the deal would include four important changes from the proposal the Bush administration sent Congress last weekend. It would mandate help for some homeowners facing foreclosure, give the treasury power to take stakes in financial firms, set up tougher oversight of the process and put limits on executive pay. “We are prepared to act expeditiously on a plan with our colleagues that will allow us to send a very strong message to the markets,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said lawmakers had a deal “that will pass the House, pass the Senate, be signed by the president and bring a sense of certainty to the markets.” House and Senate Republicans were present when the deal was struck and supported it afterward. But the lead House Republican in that conference, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, later said he had not been granted the power to make a deal. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said House Republicans wanted to consider alternatives to the Paulson proposal. He didn’t say why Bachus was sent to a meeting between parties if he did not have power to make a deal. “We don’t believe there’s been a bipartisan negotiation,” he said. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., one of the lead negotiators for the proposal, said McCain declined to take a side during the meeting with Bush. “What is the problem here?” Frank told reporters tonight. “Obama and I both asked Mr. McCain what his position was, and he declined to say.” On Wednesday, Obama said he supported the broad outline of the plan. Under the Paulson proposal, the treasury would buy $700 billion in bad mortgage debt from Wall Street banks at above-market prices, jump-starting the stalled market for loans among financial institutions. The treasury then would resell the debt when the housing market recovers. Paulson said Wednesday those sales could eventually recoup all of the taxpayers’ money. The House Republican alternative described today would sell insurance on mortgage debt, as the government does on some loans for low-income buyers, rather than buy it back. It also would lift some taxes and regulations so that “private capital can be drawn into the market,” the alternative states. That way, “Wall Street can bail itself out,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Lawmakers of both parties have said constituents have strongly opposed the Paulson plan as first proposed. But all sides have agreed that without action, the United States could face a severe credit crisis that eventually could freeze lending for cars, homes and students. There’s evidence some spillover from the crisis is beginning to hit consumers. Auto analyst firm CNW Marketing Research said today that its data found tougher credit terms across the industry, and that even car buyers with top credit scores were having a harder time finding loans for new vehicles. General Motors Corp. Chairman Rick Wagoner said the credit crunch had slowed sales. “From our perspective, anything we can do to help loosen up that logjam in the automotive credit is going to help from the standpoint of production, employment and demand for vehicles,” Wagoner said. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said both chambers were ready to act quickly once a final bill was crafted. Pelosi also said the House would vote on a second economic stimulus plan, which would include an extension of unemployment benefits. Democrats had been pitching a $50-billion proposal before the financial crisis; Pelosi said she hoped to get support from Bush for the plan. Reid said McCain had remained unclear about his stance, and that time was running short for him to back a proposal. “If John McCain is opposed to this, that’s too bad,” Reid said. “I think he’s standing in the way of completing this legislation.”

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