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Bad News For The Bailout A deal likely won't happen this week, and if Paulson wants one at all, he better improve his case to Congress. - In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy. "It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number." (Forbes)
Bailout plan under fire Paulson, Bernanke urge immediate action on $700B plan - cite fear of meltdown. But senators from both sides voice more questions than support. - Sen. Sherrod Brown, a liberal Democrat from Ohio, said calls from his constituents about the plan have been universally negative. He told the story of one constituent who drove to Washington.
"He quite rightly asked why we were rushing to bailout companies whose leaders got rich gambling with other people's money," Brown said.
Brown asked if Wall Street owed the rest of America an apology. Paulson, who served as CEO of Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs for seven years before becoming Treasury Secretary in 2006, pointed at both Wall Street and others for the nation's current crisis.
"There is a lot of blame to go around," Paulson said. "A lot of blame [belongs] with big financial institutions that engaged in this irresponsible lending."
But Paulson also said some blame rests with regulators, rating agencies and others - "people who made loans they shouldn't have made, people who took out loans they shouldn't have taken out." (CNN)
Treasury's bailout proposal The legislative proposal was sent by the White House overnight to lawmakers - Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States. (CNN)
One Week Later, a New World Order Just five days and a bankruptcy, a government takeover and a shotgun merger later, the American financial system has been completely reordered, and more changes in the regulatory framework and on Wall Street are likely to come in the next few years (Wall Street Journal)
Wall Street: The dark theory `Pollyanna Creep' theorists blame Washington's economic statistics - According to Williams, all the big measures have had their methodologies revised repeatedly over decades to paint the U.S. economy in the best possible light - and this has gone on regardless of which party controlled the White House. Modifications were always spelled out at the time - with rationales for doing so. Thus it's not as though this has gone on in the dark of night. (CNN)
Global Elite Gather in D.C. "John has always supported free trade, even while campaigning before union leaders," said one. "Hil and Barack are pretending to be unhappy about some things, but that's merely political posturing. They're solidly in support." (American Free Press)
NY Fed to provide $29 billion in Bear Stearns financing New York Fed said it would take control of a $30 billion portfolio of assets through a limited liability company formed to manage the assets. J.P. Morgan Chase will bear the first $1 billion of any losses associated with the portfolio, and any gains will accrue to the New York Fed (Reuters)
Democrats are darlings of Wall St: Some fear donations will soften attitudes on financial regulation Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who are running for president as economic populists, are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions from the troubled financial services sector.
It is part of a broader fundraising shift toward Democrats, compared to past campaigns when Republicans were the favorites of Wall Street.
Some Democrats worry that the influx of money will make their candidates less willing to call for increased regulation of financial markets, which have been in turmoil after a wave of foreclosures on sub-prime mortgages.
These concerned Democrats argue that their candidates, and presumptive Republican nominee McCain, should be willing to push for financial institutions to accept more government regulation -- in exchange for likely future bailouts, such as the recent deal the Federal Reserve orchestrated for JPMorgan Chase & Co. to take over Bear Stearns Cos. (Los Angeles Times)
U.S. mortgage crisis spreads past subprime loans As U.S. home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace, according to industry data and economists (New York Times)
New credit crunch looms There are concerns that a $75bn (£37bn) rescue operation put together by US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to stabilise the sub-prime market is intended to mask the scale of the crisis (London Telegraph)
Rate of Home Foreclosures Hits Record The rate of home loans in foreclosure rose to a record level in the second quarter of 2007 as more homeowners in California, Florida and other states could not refinance their adjustable-rate mortgages (Reuters)
Derivatives, The Future of Investing? CNN Money is featuring an article discussing derivative investments, in particular, investments designed for the small investor to hedge his or her bets. HedgeStreet is a company that lets people speculate on economic events, such as gas prices hitting $3.00 by a certain date. This hedge, for instance, might be good for someone with a long commute and would like to neutralize the effect of spending more on gas.
In order to invest in the derivatives offered by particular investment company, the investor needs only $100 to open an account, and any trades are limited to $10. The company calls these small items “hedgelets.” At HedgeStreet, the contracts available are based on economic events. (Consumer Commentary)
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