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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Economy Watch: September 28, 2008 - October 4, 2008

Changing of the Minds

According to House records, the following is the list of Representatives who changed their votes to YES on the bailout package. An (R) denotes members of the Republican party. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii Rodney Alexander (R), Louisiana Joe Baca, California J. Gresham Barrett (R), South Carolina Shelley Berkley, Nevada Judy Biggert...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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So Much For a Bailout Rally

The Closing Bell: The Dow finished the day down 1.5 percent, or 157 points. It was not any better for the Nasdaq, which closed down 1.5 percent, or 29 points. The S&P 500 closed down 1.3 percent, or 15 points. -- Michael S. Rosenwald...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Bush Signs Bailout Bill Into Law

Well, that was fast: President Bush has signed into law the $700 billion bailout plan passed by Congress less than two hours ago. Bush signed the bill at his desk in the Oval Office, shortly after returning from a brief thank you trip to the Treasury Department, according to the...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Bush to Quickly Sign Bailout Bill

In a short speech at the White House, President Bush said he would quickly sign the $700 billion bailout bill passed by the House today. He thanked leaders from both sides of the aisle in Congress. "By coming together on this legislation we have acted boldly," he said. "There were...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Today's Winners and Losers on Wall Street

From the Associated Press, here are today's biggest winners and losers on Wall Street. The Dow is up 141 points. NYSE Wachovia Corp., up $2.70 at $6.61 Wells Fargo agreed to buy the bank for $15.1 billion, setting up a fight with Citigroup, which had its own deal with the...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Bernanke Applauds House Vote

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke just released the following statement: "I applaud the action taken by the Congress. It demonstrates the government's commitment to do what it takes to support and strengthen our economy. The legislation is a critical step toward stabilizing our financial markets and ensuring an uninterrupted...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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House Passes Bailout Bill 263-171

They've done it: By a vote of 263 to 171, the House of Representatives has approved a $700 billion bailout plan in the hopes of propping up the nation's economy, which has been besieged by the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis. Banks have failed. There has been a re-ordering...

By Sara Goo  |  October 3, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
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House Vote Is Underway

For the second time this week, the House of Representatives is voting on an historic $700 billion bailout plan. In a stunning vote on Monday -- and a stinging blow to the Bush administration -- the House defeated the bill on a narrow vote. The market seems hopeful, with the...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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District Homeowners Have Stake in Bailout Bill

The Post's Elizabeth Razzi reports that District home buyers have a particular stake in the economic stabilization bill scheduled for a vote in the House today. The $5,000 tax credit for first-time home purchases in the District, which expired Dec. 31, 2007, would be extended to cover purchases made during...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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House Members Switch to 'Yea' Column

The Post's Paul Kane reports that a quartet of freshman House Democrats are announcing their support for the $700 billion package, switching from their opposition Monday. Reps. Bruce Braley (Iowa), Mazie Hirona (Hawaii), Betty Sutton (Ohio) and John Yarmuth (Ky.), all elected in the Democratic landslide of 2006, announced their...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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House Approves Rules for Debate

The Post's Paul Kane reports from the Capitol: On a 223-205 vote minutes ago, the House formally approved the rules for debate on the rescue legislation. In an usual move showing their entrenched opposition, 29 Democrats opposed the rule -- which is normally considered a pure partisan vote, with rank-and-file...

By Sara Goo  |  October 3, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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From No to Yes

Representative Howard Coble (R-N.C.) has changed his mind. On the House floor just now, Coble said he is now supporting the bailout bill after voting against it earlier this week. The reasons? He likes the changes that emerged in the Senate, and he said the phone calls his office was...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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House Republican leadership "optimistic" after meeting

Republican leaders in the House just stepped out of a closed door meeting to declare they were "optimistic" that their membership would support the bailout bill this afternoon. While they wouldn't talk specific numbers, they said they were continuing to speak with the various factions of their membership. Eric Cantor...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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The Debate Has Begun; Hoyer Expects Vote Today

The Post's Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane are reporting that the House began debate on the procedures for considering the $700 billion bailout package and a vote is expected be held this afternoon. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) put out a statement late last night declaring that the vote...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Market Opens Up

The Dow jumped more than 100 points, or one percent, at the opening bell, apparently rallying on the Wells Fargo-Wachovia deal and the not-as-bad-as-investors-feared jobs report. The S&P is up about 18 points. The Nasdaq is up 35 points. Financial stocks are mostly up. Not Citigroup, though. Its shares are...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Bailout for The Governator?

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a not-so-little problem. According to an L.A. Times story this morning, the state of California is running low on cash and, because of the credit crisis, officials there can't get their hands on short term loans needed to fund the daily operations of government. He...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Jobs Report: Largest Drop in Five Years

More news on a busy morning: The U.S. economy lost 159,000 non-farm jobs last month, which was more than the 100,000 that economists were predicting. The employment rate held steady at 6.1 percent. But even as the jobs number appeared to spell more gloom for a rapidly deteriorating economy,...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  October 3, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Wells Fargo to Acquire Wachovia

Wells Fargo & Co. announced this morning that it is acquiring Wachovia Corp., which only last Monday said it was being taken over by Citigroup. In a statement posted on its Web site, Wells Fargo said the merger has been approved unanimously by the boards of both companies but would...

By Lexie Verdon  |  October 3, 2008; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Morning Briefing

Stock markets were mixed in advance of the House vote on the $700 billion bailout bill, expected to happen around midday today. Yesterday, the U.S. markets plunged on concerns about the economy, as new data showed that factory orders were weaker than expected and jobless numbers had risen to a...

By Sara Goo  |  October 3, 2008; 7:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Marriott Profit Plunges, Some Jobs Cut

Marriott International's third quarter profit plunged 28 percent and executives at the Bethesda firm said today that the credit crisis and deteriorating economy would force them to reduce staffing, slash share repurchases, and possibly cancel or delay some projects. Chief financial officer Arne Sorenson used the beginning of a conference...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Markets Dive Toward Closing

With about 30 minutes to go before the day's close of trading, Wall Street has been unable to pull itself up above water and is, in fact, continuing to sink. The Dow is trading down about 320 points, off more than 3 percent. The Nasdaq is down more than 4...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Pelosi: Vote Planned for Noon Friday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just told The Post's Lori Montgomery that the House will not vote on the Senate's approved version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan unless there are sufficient votes in the House to pass it. Then she said the House plans to vote on...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Ornaments on the Rescue Bill Christmas Tree

Lawmakers were adamant in their desire not to "Christmas tree" the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill, which is jargon for loading up a bill with a number of (often) pork-related projects that have nothing to do with the main body of the legislation. Yeah, good luck with that. It's...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Some House Members Remain Unmoved

Two House members who voted against the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill on Monday plan to vote against it again on Friday, unconvinced this offering is any better. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) resents administration pressure to pass the bill and says there are other ways to unfreeze the credit...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Frank Thinks House Will Pass Rescue Bill

Appearing on CNBC moments ago, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services committee and the face of the rescue deal in the House, was asked if he has enough votes to pass the rescue bill this time: "I think so," Frank said. The House rejected Version 1.0 of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Sallie Mae: All Is Well, Really

Albert Lord, chief executive of student-loan giant Sallie Mae, sent a letter to shareholders today saying his company is being unfairly beaten up by Wall Street. One year ago, Sallie Mae was trading at $50.09 per share. Today, Reston-based Sallie shares opened at $8.95 per share. The stock lost 32...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Wall Street Off Sharply at Open

Well, so much for two days' optimism. In the first half-hour of trading, the Dow is down more than 200 points, about 2 percent. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are both down more than 2 percent. The markets appear to be reacting to last week's jobless claims, which reached...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Wall Street Gets Two Days' Optimism

Today, Wall Street opens knowing that the Senate passed a version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue/bailout (your call) bill. The House is working toward voting on the bill on Friday. Last night, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the plan's champion in the House, said he thought the odds of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 2, 2008; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Overseas Markets Mixed

European stocks lifted this morning, the day after the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the $700 billion bill to rescue the U.S. financial system. The DJ Stoxx index rose 1.5 percent in morning trading, but in Asia the picture was more mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up...

By Sara Goo  |  October 2, 2008; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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House vs. Rescue Bill: Round 2

Now that the Senate has passed a modified version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill -- modified in ways to make it more palatable to the House Republicans who helped kill the first version on Monday -- it heads back to the House for a scheduled Friday vote....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 10:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Bush: Senate Deserves Kudos

The White House released this statement from President Bush moments ago: "I applaud the Senate for its strong bipartisan vote in favor of the financial rescue plan. I especially appreciate the efforts of Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senators Chris Dodd and Judd Gregg, and the senior...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 10:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Senators Who Voted Against the Rescue Bill

The modified $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill just passed the Senate by a 74-25 vote. Now it heads to the House; if it passes there, onto President Bush who favors the rescue plan. Here is a list of the senators who voted against the rescue bill: - Waye Allard...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 9:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
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Breaking: Senate Passes Rescue Bill

By a vote of 74-25, the Senate just approved the revised version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill rejected Monday by the House. The bill now heads to the House for a vote, likely on Friday. Some of the revisions included in the Senate bill were designed to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 9:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
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Senate Vote Underway

The Senate has finished votes on two bills teed up ahead of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just finished his closing remarks -- he followed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- and now it's on to the vote, which will be by...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 9:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Senate Approves Metro Funding

The U.S. Senate voted moments ago to authorize long-sought federal funding for Washington's cash-strapped and aging Metro system, clearing a major hurdle toward providing $1.5 billion over 10 years to help maintain the nation's second-largest transit agency. The Senate passage is the furthest the measure has advanced since Rep. Tom...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 8:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
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How The Credit Crunch Has Affected You

At the heart of the current financial crisis is the freezing-up of the credit markets -- car and student loans for consumers, payroll-making loans for small businesses and so forth. So we asked you: Has the credit crunch affected you yet? The question was open to everyone, but we were...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 8:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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The Bernie Sanders Fat Cat Tax

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the only independent in the Senate and can evoke a "God love him" reaction for his sometimes out-of-the-mainstream, passionately argued ideas. True to form, today the self-identified "democratic socialist" introduced an amendment to the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan ripped right from the pages...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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Obama: Crisis 'Will Be Worse If We Do Not Act Now'

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) just wrapped up his speech in support of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan, telling his colleagues that the legislation must be passed to "prevent the possibility of a crisis turning into a catastrophe." Obama sounded the same theme that billionaire super-investor Warren E. Buffett...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
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Markets Close Slightly Down, Await Senate

Wall Street recouped most of its opening-bell dive by the closing bell today, ending slightly down as the market seemed to spend most of the afternoon looking forward to tonight's planned Senate vote on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan. The Dow closed down 19.59 points, or .18 percent,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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'Coach' Buffett Steps In Again, Buys Some GE

The recent actions of super-investor Warren E. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the world's richest man, are looking more and more like those of another rich guy who single-handedly saved the stock market a century ago, J.P. Morgan. General Electric, whose stock was hammered earlier today on capital concerns,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
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Breaking: House To Vote Friday on Rescue Bill

The Post's Lori Montgomery is reporting that the House is planning to vote on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill on Friday, following an expected Senate vote tonight. House leadership plans to brief rank-and-file members tomorrow on the Senate changes to the bill. -- Frank Ahrens...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
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Has the Credit Crunch Affected You Yet?

Our Ask the Readers A Question About the Current Crisis went so well yesterday, we thought we'd try it again today. The heart of this crisis is the seizure of the credit market -- lawmakers and financiers are saying that if the proposed $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
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Senate Moves Toward Rescue Vote

The Post's Lori Montgomery reports that the Senate, which has taken the lead on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill from the House, will likely begin discussing the bill between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. today. There will be 90 minutes of debate on an amendment offered by Sen....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Dueling Economists: This Group Supports Bailout

Last week, a group of distinguished economists signed a letter in opposition to the bailout bill before Congress, which some lawmakers pointed to as a reason not to vote in favor. Now, a second group of economists, led by Boston University's Laurence Kotlikoff, have signed a letter in support of...

By Sara Goo  |  October 1, 2008; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Markets Recover Some Early Losses

As lunchtime kicks off, Wall Street is trying to regain its footing after tripping at the opening bell. At noon, the Dow is trading down about 114 points, somewhat recovered from its morning drop of more than 200 points. The S&P is off about 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Martinez Gets 'Earful' Back in Fla.

Appearing on CNBC moments ago, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) said he "got an earful about the House vote" when he returned to his home state during the Rosh Hashanah holiday yesterday. Martinez, who said he will vote for the new Senate plan, said his constituents were in favor of the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
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Dow Stumbles Out Of Gate

So, let's get this straight: Yesterday, it seemed possible that some version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan would be approved sometime sooner than later. The Dow shot up nearly 500 points. Today, you've got Senate leaders saying that it's almost certain that they will approve their version...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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How Will Markets React to Senate Action?

Yesterday, the markets roared out of the opening gates and rallied throughout the day on the possibility that some version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package would be passed. Let's see what the markets do today with the Senate poised to vote on a marked-up version of the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 1, 2008; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Corker: Senate Will Pass Bill Tonight

Senate banking committee member Bob Corker (R-Tenn), on CNBC moments ago, expressed confidence that the Senate would pass the $700 billion financial rescue bill tonight. "I would be stunned" if the bill didn't pass, Corker said, adding that he has talked to many lawmakers who support the legislation but hopes...

By Sara Goo  |  October 1, 2008; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Morning Briefing

Now, it's the Senate's turn. The markets overseas seem to be in a holding pattern, awaiting news about the fate of the U.S. financial system rescue plan. The Senate will vote this evening on a new version of the $700 billion bailout plan, which was modified yesterday afternoon to appease...

By Sara Goo  |  October 1, 2008; 7:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Why You Think the Rescue Bill Failed

Earlier today, we asked readers why you thought the House rejected the proposed $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill yesterday, sending markets tumbling and lawmakers back to the drawing boards. It's nice to know we weren't shouting into a vacuum. So far, we've gotten 187 comments. And yes, we've read...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
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SEC Clarification May Help Markets

Some economists are attributing much of the current financial crisis to something as mundane-seeming as accounting. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have just made an announcement that, dry as it sounds, may mean a great deal: "When an active market for a security does...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
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FDIC Asks Congress to Increase Bank Deposit Insurance

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. wants Congress to increase temporarily the $100,000 ceiling on bank deposits guaranteed by the government. The move is designed to ease pressure on banks after two of the country's largest institutions were forced from business in the last week as customers started to withdraw money...

By Sara Goo  |  September 30, 2008; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
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Wall Street Rally Sustains, for Now

With about 90 minutes left on the trading day, the buying rally continues. As of about 2:40 p.m., the Dow is up nearly 400 points, following a 778-point selloff yesterday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which suffered its worst day yesterday since the 2000 tech bubble burst, is up more than 4...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Senate Leaders Promise Deal

Senate leaders from both parties vowed to press ahead on a new bill, with the goal of a re-vote in the House and final Senate action by the end of this week. "We know what we need to do, and that we need to do it quickly," Senate Minority Leader...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Why Do You Think the Rescue Bill Failed?

We've heard lots of speculative reasons for the House's rejection of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill yesterday: - Republican leadership couldn't deliver the GOP rank-and-file. - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) attack on President Bush alienated wavering Republicans. - Pelosi couldn't deliver enough Democrats. - Sen. John McCain...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (189)
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'Coach' Buffett?

Billionaire oilman/windman/waterman/wildman T. Boone Pickens just popped up on CNBC, talking about the current crisis. He said he anticipates that the the House will pass a version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package by Thursday night and gave his endorsement to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. (He also predicted...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Survey: Businesses Already Cutting Back

Late last week, the Association for Financial Professionals released a survey from its members over the past two weeks that shows businesses already are reducing spending, freezing hiring and considering layoffs in the face of the current crisis. The study was little-noticed when it came out but now is gaining...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Wall Street Shoots Out of the Gates

In the opening minutes of trading on Wall Street, the major indicators are up and up sharply. The Dow has rocketed to a 230-point gain, up more than 2 percent. The Nasdaq has rebounded from an atrocious day -- the worst since the tech bubble burst in 2000 -- by...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Critical Day On Wall Street

Wall Street is on its own today. Even though backroom negotiations continue feverishly on the Hill, lawmakers will not legislate today in observance of Rosh Hashanah. There are no House votes for Wall Street to watch today. Yesterday, CBNC had a split screen, showing the Dow plunging as the Nay...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 30, 2008; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Bush: Legislative Process 'Is Not Over'

President Bush just moments ago reiterated the urgency of the financial crisis and its daily impact on the economy, saying Congress must continue to work with the administration to pass a financial rescue bill. "The legislative process is not over," he said. "The reality is, we're in an urgent situation....

By Sara Goo  |  September 30, 2008; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Morning Briefing

The calm after the storm? It's early, but so far no U.S. banks have failed and after a steep plunge, overseas stocks staged a comeback in some parts of the world. U.S. stock futures are actually indicating the mood has shifted on Wall Street and the markets may open up...

By Sara Goo  |  September 30, 2008; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Steve Forbes: Economy In 'Cardiac Arrest'

Former Republican presidential candidate and noted flat-taxer Steve Forbes appeared on CNBC moments ago with a grave diagnosis for the U.S. economy, likening it to a flatlining coronary patient. "Right now there is fear in the marketplace," said Forbes, also editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. "Not since 1933 have we been...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 7:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
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Gregg to Wall Street: Don't Panic, We're Working

In remarks to the media this afternoon, Sens. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) appeared confident that some form of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan will pass. Gregg said we will "stay here until we get this done." Gregg quickly pointed out that Tuesday...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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McCain: I Blame Obama, His Allies

In comments just concluded, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress have infused unnecessary partisanship into the process." In the next breath, however, McCain said: "Now is not the time to fix blame. Now is the time to fix the problems." This came after Democrats...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
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Paulson: We Need Help Fast

Addressing reporters at the White House moments ago, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, author of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan voted down by the House earlier today, said that he and other regulators will continue to stave off the current financial crisis as best they can, but they need...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
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Dow: Worst One-Day Loss Since 9/11

Wall Street's response to the House's rejection of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan was unambivalent: Panic. The Dow closed down 777.68 or 7 percent, the worst one-day sell-off since the days following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Dow hit its lowest levels since November 2005....

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
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Partisan Finger-Pointing Begins Immediately

House Republicans emerged from the vote angry, and quickly directed their frustration toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), blaming her final speech before the vote for its failure. "Right here is the reason I believe why this vote failed and this is Speaker Pelosi's speech," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
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Lawmakers Don't Know What's Next

At a post-vote press conference, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, "I don't know that we know the path forward at this point. We need everyone to calm down, relax and get back to work." Republicans are blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for swinging the vote, saying her remarks on...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
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Treasury Pledges to "Use All the Tools" to Protect Economy

Treasury Assistant Secretary Michele Davis just issued this statement: "The Secretary will be consulting with the President, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Congressional leaders on next steps. In the meantime, we stand ready to work with fellow regulators and use all the tools at our disposal, as we...

By Sara Goo  |  September 29, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Boehner: No More Votes Today on Bailout

UPDATED at 2:47 p.m.: Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) just told The Post's Paul Kane there will be no more votes today on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout rejected earlier this afternoon by the House. The members have left the House and headed to the airports for a scheduled recess....

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
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Bailout Bill Is Killed By House

By a vote of 205-228, the House has killed the current version of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill. Wall Street has plunged in response. At about 2:15, the Dow was down about 560, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 down by more than 6 percent. Investors were shocked...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
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Bailout Bill Has Not Passed Yet

The 15-minute vote in the House on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout has closed, but votes are switching sides as House leaders are arm-twisting. At 1:54 p.m., the tally stands like this: Yea: 207 Nay: 226 If the bill passes, it moves to the Senate for a vote planned...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
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Stocks Plunge on House Vote

U.S. stocks plunged this afternoon as House members looked as though they were poised to vote against the $700 billion bailout bill. The Dow Jones industrial average took a more than 500 point dive today as the vote tallies came in. The bailout had been expected to pass but met...

By Sara Goo  |  September 29, 2008; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Boehner: Bill Passage "In Serious Doubt"

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) moments ago said passage of the $700 billion financial bailout package is "in serious doubt" in remarks on the House floor. In urging his fellow members to vote for the bill, Boehner acknowledged that it did not contain many elements that he and...

By Sara Goo  |  September 29, 2008; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Debate Rages in House Prior to Vote

Some voices from the ongoing House debate on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill, as lawmakers plan to vote before 1 p.m. today: - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): "The party is over. How did [the current crisis] sneak up on us? Almost on little cat feet? Democrats like...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Tech Stocks Hammered

UPDATED at noon with analyst's comment at the bottom: As of about 11:30 a.m. today, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down nearly 4 percent, compared to the Dow's 2.5 percent decline and the S&P 500's 3.5 percent decline. Some notable Nasdaq casualties so far today: - Apple is down 13 percent,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fed Pumps Billions More Into System

The Federal Reserve today expanded its efforts to try to pump cash into the nation's banking system. For the past week, banks have been hoarding cash, driving the rates that they lend to each other up sharply. That has the effect of making it more expensive for ordinary consumers and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Wall Street Opens Down Sharply

It may have been a bad sign that -- for some reason, so far, unknown -- no one rang the bell to open trading on Wall Street this morning. Trading just started on its own and Wall Street stumbled out of the gate. Nearly 30 minutes into the day's trading,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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All Eyes on Wall Street

President Bush and lawmakers made one point clear throughout the weekend: We need agreement on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout before the opening bell begins trading on Wall Street on Monday. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that this bailout is as much about psychology as economics --...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2008; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Bush Urges Swift Passage of $700 Billion Financial Rescue Bill

President Bush praised Congress on the $700 billion financial package to stabilize the U.S financial system, saying the bill drawn up over the weekend will "address the root cause of the financial crisis." Bush praised lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their leadership, pointing out that the package...

By Sara Goo  |  September 29, 2008; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Morning Briefing

Now that lawmakers have reached an agreement on the $700 billion bailout plan, it's time for a vote. Washington is getting things rolling early this morning. President Bush, who urged the bill's quick passage, is scheduled to provide public remarks at a 7:35 a.m. and House members are scheduled to...

By Sara Goo  |  September 29, 2008; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Japanese Markets Climb On Open

Tokyo's Nikkei average, the leading Japanese market index, opened up nearly .5 percent in response to U.S. lawmakers' agreement on the $700 billion bailout plan. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Nikkei was up 142.89 to 12,036.05, a bit above its 52-week low, but more than 5,000 below...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 28, 2008; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Breakdown Of the Final Bailout Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just released a section-by-section breakdown of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008," otherwise known as the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill. The 106-page bill established sweeping powers for Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and his successor, in carrying out what the bill calls the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 28, 2008; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
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Treasury Confirms Paulson Woozy Spell

At the final, critical meeting in negotiations on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout -- the last round of talks began at 10:40 p.m. Saturday and ended around 12:25 a.m. this morning - Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was so short of breath that lawmakers called the Capitol physician because they...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 28, 2008; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
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Gregg: McCain 'Very Constructive;' Dodd: Not So Much

At a media briefing this afternoon, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), one of the GOP point-men in negotiations over the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill, said he was happy that both presidential candidates suspended their campaigns earlier this week to focus on the current crisis. "It focused the American people's...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 28, 2008; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Final Piece Fits: House GOP Agrees to Bailout

The House came in at 1 p.m. today for 25 minutes of what are known as one-minute speeches. The lawmakers -- all of them from the more conservative and more liberal wings of their respective parites -- denounced the deal one by one. The chamber adjourned, and is scheduled to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 28, 2008; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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