Monday, September 29, 2008

The Bailout Plan: Credit Markets frozen

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President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday hailed the deal by congressional leadership on a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package and urged Congress to move quickly to pass the bill. The House was set to start a short debate on the controversial matter early Monday. The measure, designed to get battered U.S. credit markets working normally again, appeared likely to see a vote in the chamber by midday Monday. With leading House Republicans signing on to the proposal on Sunday after expressing earlier reservations, the bill is now expected to pass. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday he hoped for a vote in that chamber by Wednesday at the latest. Bush, speaking at the White House, called the proposed measure "an extraordinary agreement to deal with an extraordinary problem." He said he is confident the measure will win bipartisan support. "With this strong and decisive legislation, we will help restart the flow of credit so American families can meet their daily needs and American businesses can make purchases, ship goods and meet their payrolls," Bush said. "We'll make clear that the United States is serious about restoring confidence and stability in our financial system." Bush acknowledged that many voters were opposed to helping out Wall Street with tax dollars, but said there is little choice to move forward with the plan. He said most if not all of the tax money spent to buy distressed mortgage-backed securities should be recouped when the Treasury sells them in the coming years. He conceded that the economy is facing problems even if the bill passes. "Every member of Congress and every American should keep in mind - a vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community," Bush said. "This is a volatile time for our financial system and our economy. Even with the important steps we're taking to address the current crisis, we will continue to face serious challenges." Bernanke, who had spent hours before Congress last week testifying in favor of the measure, issued a brief written statement also promising that it would restore the flow of credit to households and businesses. "I look forward to swift passage of the legislation," he said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the provisions added by Congress will protect taxpayers from having to pay for the bailout. "We sent a message to Wall Street - the party is over," she said at a press conference with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Democratic leaders from the House and Senate. The core of the bill is based on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's request for authority to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions so banks can resume lending and so the credit markets, now virtually frozen, can begin to operate more normally.

Bank bailout plans loosen credit markets a bit; interbank rates dip ...
NEW YORK (AP) _ A few corners of the frozen credit markets thawed a bit Monday on news of the U.S. government's bank bailout plans, but business was hardly back to normal. And ...
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Credit markets ease only slightly on bailout plans: Financial News ...
Credit markets ease only slightly on bailout plans. - NEW YORK (AP) -- A few corners of the frozen credit markets thawed a bit Monday on news of the U.S. government's bank bailout ...
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Credit markets ease slightly on bailout plans
A few corners of the frozen credit markets thawed a bit Monday on news of the U.S. government's bank bailout plans, but business was hardly back to normal. And, even after the dust ...
more ...
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Congress examines $700 billion market bailout plan
... The Bush Administration sent a $700 billion plan for a U.S. government bailout of bad ... that other major banks could collapse and that credit markets were close to freezing ...
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Student, car debt quietly added to bailout plan
... plan, said the program will help ease frozen loan markets and ensure consumers continue to have access to credit ... bailout plan will accomplish its goal of calming markets. "The credit ...
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Dodd, Gregg, urge lawmakers to pass bailout
He also said, though, that failure to act would spread the contagion of frozen credit markets even further. ... cool reception · Harvest caps challenging year for Calif. vintners · Who wins, who loses under proposed bailout plan? · ...
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Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer
NewsDateTime: 2 hours ago

Wall Street drops at open
NEW YORK ( -- Stocks slipped Monday morning as investors eyed a series of bank failures in Europe and worried that the government's $700 billion bank bailout plan won't be sufficient to loosen up nearly frozen credit markets. Investors ...
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Source: CNN Money
NewsDateTime: 35 minutes ago

President Bush urges passage of compromise legislation to stabilize ...
... President Bush is urging lawmakers to pass the compromise financial system bailout ... to assure Americans that approving his administration's $700 billion rescue plan is the right thing to do.
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Source: Newsday
NewsDateTime: 2 hours ago

Bank rescues in Europe as bailout awaited
... and global money markets remained frozen. ... met to consider the bailout plan ... Holding AG secured a credit line from the German government and banks of up to 35 billion euros. Key lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives said the bailout plan ...
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Source: Washington Post
NewsDateTime: 42 minutes ago

Jay Hancock: Fed helps fuel high gas prices
... in the Reserve Primary Fund, a money-market mutual fund that was frozen last ... scant signs of improvement Friday, with lawmakers still debating the bailout plan that would take $700 billion of risky assets off troubled banks' books. The credit markets ...
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Source: Baltimore Sun
NewsDateTime: 9/27/2008

he news comes as President Bush and other congressional leaders looked to shore up support for the rescue measure, which they and many on Wall Street believe is a difficult but necessary choice to revive moribund credit markets. Banks and other financial houses are hesitant to lend to one another because of fears about bad mortgage debt on companies' books. Tight lending conditions make it harder and more expensive for businesses and consumers to get a loan, which can hurt the economy. While congressional leaders said they had the headcount to pass the vote — a Senate vote could come as early as Wednesday — investors were likely to remain unnerved until the votes are complete. Investors also digested news that consumer spending in August fell to its lowest level in six months. The Commerce Department said consumer spending remained unchanged in August, rather than increasing 0.2 percent as economists had expected and the worst showing since February. Personal incomes rose a better-than-expected 0.5 percent after falling 0.6 percent drop in July. But after-tax incomes fell by 0.9 percent. Incomes benefited in past months from the government's stimulus checks. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 169, or 1.52 percent, to 10,978. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 19.80, or 1.63 percent, to 1,194.70, and Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 30.00, or 1.79 percent, to 1,644.75. Credit markets remained strained Monday. The yield on the 3-month Treasury bill, considered the safest short-term investment, fell to 0.66 percent from 0.87 percent late Friday. The yield on the T-bill falls as demand grows; investors are at times willing to take the slimmest returns to safeguard their principal. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.78 percent from 3.84 percent late Thursday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose. Light, sweet crude fell $5.19 to $101.70 in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. To tamp down criticism of the plan, Congress can restrict how much of the money goes out the door at once. It also includes limits on pay packages of top executives as well as assurances that the government also would ultimately be reimbursed by the companies for any losses. The Treasury would be permitted to spend $250 billion to buy banks' risky assets, giving them a much-needed necessary cash infusion. There also would be another $100 billion for use at president's discretion and a final $350 billion if Congress signs off on it. Investors are also worried about overall sluggishness in the world's economy. In the U.S., for example, unemployment now sits at a five-year high of 6.1 percent. That rate is expected to increase, perhaps putting further pressure on consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. For the Wachovia deal, Citigroup's acquisition will include five depository institutions and assume debt. The FDIC said Citigroup will absorb up to $42 billion of losses on a $312 billion pool of loans. The FDIC said it would cover any additional losses. The FDIC gets $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants under the deal. Citi shares fell 5.2 percent in premarket electronic trading. Investors overseas were nervous ahead of the votes in Washington and after three European governments agreed to inject Fortis NV with a $16.4 billion bailout. Fortis, with has headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and Utrecht, Netherlands, is Belgium's largest retail bank. The British government said it is nationalizing mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, which has a $91 billion mortgage and loan portfolio. It was the latest sign that the credit crisis has spread beyond the U.S. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.26 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 3.23 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 2.75 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 2.58 percent

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