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

Economy Watch: October 12, 2008 - October 18, 2008

Oct. 17, 2008

As a strong believer in free markets, I would oppose such measures under ordinary circumstances. But these are not ordinary circumstances. We took this measure as a last resort." — President Bush, Oct. 17...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 17, 2008; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Chicago Considers Restricting Executive Pay for Banks Taking Bailout Money

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post reported that Chicago had passed a resolution to cap executive compensation for banks receiving federal money through the federal bailout. The resolution has been proposed, but it has not been passed by the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 5:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Despite Sell-Off, Still a Decent Week

After an up-and-down day for the markets, a last-minute sell-off sent them down again as the closing bell rang. The Dow closed down 1.4 percent, or 127, and the Nasdaq was down .4 percent, or 6.42. The S&P closed down...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Brace for Salary Slump

A dozen Lehman Brothers executives, including CEO Dick Fuld, have been subpoenaed in connection to three grand jury investigations about the investment bank's fall. Prosecutors are looking into whether executives made false comments about the firm's health before its bankruptcy....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Online Trading Sites See Surge

To save their sickly stock portfolios and 401Ks, it looks like consumers are flocking to online trading sites. Online trading sites surged 10 percent to 12.6 million visitors in September, according to comScore, which tracks online traffic. Fidelity Investments led...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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New Deal

New Deal On May 7, 1933, eight weeks after his inauguration, FDR outlines his New Deal strategy to radio listeners, describing a national industrial recovery program that would make the government the protector of workers' rights. Note: Please upgrade your...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 17, 2008; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  FDR's Fireside Chats  
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Earnings Reports Up Next

The three major stock indexes are bouncing between positive and negative today, showing relatively small fluctuations. =They're now in positive territory after being in the red for over an hour. Everyone's looking to earnings reports to get an idea of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Buffett: Time to Buy

Despite early losses, the market has taken an upward turn. At 11:10, the Dow was up .06 percent, or 5.01, and Nasdaq was up .49 percent, or 8.53. The S&P was up .34 percent, or 3.2. Trading volatility continues. And...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Consumer Confidence Hits Record Monthly Low

We knew consumers were jittery. Apparently they're downright panicked. Consumer confidence suffered its steepest monthly drop on record this month, according to a survey released today by Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumer. The survey said its index of confidence...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Dow Falls at Opening Bell

There's no early rally this morning, as the Dow is down 2 percent, or 179 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq opened down 1.6 percent, despite an initial 6 percent spike...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Paulson Spoke to AARP, Others

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson had a sit-down with officials at the headquarters of AARP on Tuesday, the day the details of the partial nationalization of certain U.S. banks was announced, Treasury confirmed Thursday night. In addition to selling his bailout...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 17, 2008; 8:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Oct. 17, 2008

Top 10 Credit Crunch Jokes A few are groaners, a few are inscrutable. A couple are hilarious. Warsh No Lightweight One of the key players in the government response to the financial crisis is a 38-year-old former investment banker...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 17, 2008; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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European Stocks Lift

So far, this week hasn't been as bruising as last week's historic losses. A new normal has emerged in the markets, in which they swing like a pendulum every day depending on bits of economic news and other factors, such...

By Sara Goo  |  October 17, 2008; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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October 16, 2008

We're not proud of all the mistakes that were made by many different people, different parties, failures of our regulatory system, failures of market discipline that got us here." Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Oct. 16...

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  October 16, 2008; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Earnings: Southwest Down(!), Google Up

We can all agree that it qualifies as news: For the first quarter in 17 years -- 17 years -- Southwest Airlines reported a quarterly loss today. The reason: Southwest gambled and lost on its jet fuel hedge. (Brilliant Forbes...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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As If On Cue, Dow Lurches

Earlier today, we explained the market's wild gyrations in the last trading hour of the day. Most days recently, it's mean a huge drop. Today, the opposite. Starting right after 3:40 p.m., when the day's trading orders are posted and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Paulson: I'm Sorry

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said he regrets the litany of failures that led to the current economic crisis. "We're not proud of all the mistakes that were made by many different people, different parties, failures of our regulatory system, failures...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Bush: Nations United on Crisis

President Bush said today that world leaders were "working together" to provide an organized strategy for coping with the crisis. "We want to make sure we're coordinated in our response," Bush said during a bill-signing ceremony at the White House....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Are Hedge Funds Next to Fall?

Most Americans don't invest in hedge funds. But their demise is another sign of a worsening economy. Years ago, hedge funds were set up to guard -- or hedge -- against risk. Today, they usually are high-risk, high-return businesses--hedges in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Home Builder Sentiment Hits Record Low

The National Association of Home Builders, based here in Washington, said a few moments ago that its housing market index has hit a record low in October. The index is a survey of 446 residential developers across the country who...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Is Microsoft Circling Yahoo Again?

Shares of Yahoo are trading 12 percent higher today, likely because of re-heated rumors that Microsoft is stalking the struggling Internet portal again. Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo earlier this year at $33 per share, an offer Yahoo flatly refused....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Oil: We're Swimming in It

The Energy Information Administration, the government's statkeeper on oil, gas and other energy, just released its weekly report showing that oil inventories rose by 5.6 million barrels for the week that ended Oct. 10. It's a bigger surplus than analysts...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Dow Takes Dive

That was a short rally. Good thing we didn't trust it. At about 10:30 a.m., Wall Street is down across the board: the Dow is trading down between 180 and 200 points, or 2 percent; the S&P 500 is down...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Okay, NOW There's a Rally

The markets made a liar of me no sooner than I filed that last blog posting. In the past 10 minutes, the Dow has staged what looks like a legit, if mild, rally and has been trading up more than...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 9:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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No Rebound Yet From Yesterday's Slump

Yesterday, the Dow finished down 733 points. So far today, the sell-off -- after a mild blip up at the opening bell -- continues in the opening moments of trading. The Dow was trading in negative territory, down in the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 16, 2008; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Morning Briefing

The morning headlines are beginning to sound all too familiar, but here we go again: Another day in which governments have taken huge steps to prop up the financial system, another day in which the markets continue sharply south. This...

By Sara Goo  |  October 16, 2008; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Oct. 15, 2008

Stabilization of the financial markets is a critical first step, but even if they stabilize as we hope they will, broader economic recovery will not happen right away." Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Oct. 15...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 15, 2008; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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The Dow's Scariest Hour: The Last One

Maybe the Dow should stop trading at 3 p.m. Or maybe the New York Stock Exchange should just ring the closing bell at an unannounced point every day, when it looks like stocks have hit their peak. Surprise -- trading's over! Either way, the last few days have made this...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Bush 'Realistic' but 'Optimistic' on Economy

After meeting with a group of small business owners today in Ada, Mich., President Bush said he brings "a sense of optimism and realism" to the financial crisis. "I'm realistic about how tough the situation is. I'm optimistic that we're going to come through it," Bush told reporters. "And I...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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'Beige Book' Tells Gloomy, if Expected, Tale

Ever read a book that tells you what you already knew? The Fed's "Beige Book" -- a collection of anecdotal information about the economy gleaned from the Fed's 12 regional banks -- was released moments ago and told of deteriorating conditions across the country. Which is unsurprising, as the data...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Multimedia

Origins of the Crisis A narrated slideshow examining the history of the financial crisis. Recession VoicesA series of video stories about the economic downturn's impact on people and places. Graphic: It Adds Up$7.8 trillion committed in loans, investments and guarantees....

By Bob Greiner  |  October 15, 2008; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Bernanke: Regulation Needed To Prevent Bubbles

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke just finished taking questions after his speech today at the Economic Club of New York and was asked how future bubbles -- such as the exploded housing bubble at the root of the current crisis -- could be prevented. "We know that bursting bubbles can be...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Bernanke: 'We Will Not Stand Down'

In remarks to the New York Economic Club just begun, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is using unusually vigorous language to reassure investors and Americans at large that the federal government a) now has all the tools it needs to fix the economy and b) they will work. The message is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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What Does Coke Know That Pepsi Doesn't?

Yesterday, shares of PepsiCo. got hammered when the company a) missed third-quarter earnings estimates, b) revised down its remaining 2008 estimates and c) refused to provide 2009 guidance. Today, the soda king, Coca-Cola, reported third-quarter profit is up 14 percent, thanks largely to the spread of Coke through emerging markets....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Wall Street Dives Out of Gates

The Dow dropped almost immediately on opening and has been down more than 250 points in the first 30 minutes of trading. The S&P 500 is down about 3 percent and the Nasdaq is down a little more than 2 percent. Stocks being hit particularly hard today include Caterpillar, Alcoa,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 9:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Is the Contraction Underway?

Economist Milton Friedman called the Great Depression the "Great Contraction." For him, it was a more apt term that better described what happens in a financial crisis -- businesses and consumers being contracting, or reducing spending by getting smaller. Businesses not only hold off expansion plans, but they also begin...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 15, 2008; 9:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Oct. 16, 2008

An Ivory Tower Thumbs Up The Wall Street Journal's economics blog surveys some of the nation's top economists about the plan to inject government capital into banks. 'Black Swan' Investors Are Winners The recent market chaos has been good...

By Bob Greiner  |  October 15, 2008; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Morning Briefing

Monday's rally seems so long ago. If the markets overseas are any indication of where U.S. stocks are headed, it's back to the reality that, despite efforts to restore confidence in the financial industry, the economy is likely in a deep recession. In Asia, the major stock indexes were down...

By Sara Goo  |  October 15, 2008; 7:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Bush Adviser: We Will Not 'Micromanage' Banks

CBNC just concluded a long and productive interview with Ed Lazear, President Bush's chief economic adviser, discussing today's $250 billion partial nationalization of U.S. banks. "We are not about to micromanage banks," Lazear said. "We still believe that the private sector is the appropriate place for conducting business. "The last...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Dodd: Paulson Admits Erring On Bailout Plan

After meeting in his office for an hour with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson today, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said Paulson admitted that his initial rescue/bailout proposal sent to Capitol Hill four weeks ago was flawed. Paulson's first plan sought only the power to purchase illiquid mortgage-based securities, not to make...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Budget Deficit Soars, Won't Stop Here

According to figures just release by the Bush administration, the U.S. budget deficit has jumped from $161.5 billion last year to $454.8 billion this year, the highest figure in U.S. history. The figures were through September, the end of the fiscal year. Economists predict that the number will climb even...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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'All About the LIBOR'

LIBOR strife continues. As you recall from reading here earlier, the heart of the current financial crisis is the freezing up of the credit markets. Banks lend to one another -- or, rather, these days, they don't -- using the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). In recent weeks, the LIBOR...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Bush to Talk Econ With Euros at Camp David

The White House said today that President Bush will meet at Camp David on Saturday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The two foreign leaders are already scheduled to be in Canada for meetings later in the week, prompting Bush's invitation for dinner, according...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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McCain's Economic Plan

BLUE BELL, Pa. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today proposed $52 billion worth of tax breaks aimed at reducing the impact of stock market losses on the nation's seniors, providing relief to the unemployed and encouraging savings. Under his plan, unveiled as he campaigned in a suburb of Philadelphia, seniors...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Reid Calls for More Stimulus

In a statement released moments ago by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), he echoed calls by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for an economic stimulus plan aimed at Main Street, now that the Wall Street bailout/rescue plan apparently is underway. "Congress will review the details of the Administration's new...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Bipartisan Hill Kudos for Nationalization

Congressional leaders offered bipartisan praise for today's actions, saying that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was taking steps that he initially resisted but were pushed early by House and Senate negotiators. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the joint announcements "steps in the right direction that could help restore confidence" in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Plan Calls for Stricter Executive Pay Limits

Banks participating in the federal rescue program announced today must abide by stricter restrictions on executive pay than Treasury officials first indicated were required under the legislation. The new restrictions include some of the toughest requirements spelled out by Congress. The plan's new rules require that participating banks take back...

By Sara Goo  |  October 14, 2008; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Crisis Hits Real Economy: Pepsi Flat

PepsiCo. which, like Coca-Cola, has long been considered a "safety stock" -- in good times or bad, folks drink soda -- said this morning that people actually aren't drinking soda. Result: The company will cut 3,300 jobs in the United States. The company's stock is being hammered thanks to a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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The Return of Gordon Gekko?

Oh, this is good: Variety reports this morning that 20th Century Fox is fast-tracking a sequel to "Wall Street," Oliver Stone's 1987 film that introduced super-trader Gordon Gekko and his signature line -- "greed is good" -- into the culture. The sequel's plot so far: Gekko is finally released from...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Is the Rally Over Already?

As if on cue, the Dow turned negative for the first time this week just as FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, appearing CNBC moments ago, said that "the markets are responding" well to Treasury's nationalization plan for U.S. banks that was announced this morning. There have been worries all day yesterday...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Hill Reaction Rolling In to Bank Nationalization

Lawmakers are beginning to release statements on Treasury's plan, reported in The Post this morning, to partially nationalize major U.S. banks in an effort to stabilize the economy. We are looking forward to statements from the most conservative Republicans and Democrats on the partial government takeover of banks. "The actions...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Dow Shoots Out of Gates Again

The Dow shot above 300 points in the first few moments of trading today and, as of about 10 a.m., is up about 180 points, or more than 2 percent. The S&P 500 is up nearly 2 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is the laggard in today's early rally, fluctuating above...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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The Day the U.S. Economy Changed

Make no mistake: today's announcement that the U.S. Treasury will invest $250 billion of taxpayer money in private American banks marks a pivot point in how the U.S. economy thinks of itself. Nothing this radical in government-sponsored financial engineering has occurred on such a widespread, systematic scope since FDR's alphabet-soup...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 14, 2008; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Morning Briefing

Will the rally continue today? By the looks of the overseas markets, that might just be the case. Yesterday's move by the federal government to take direct equity stakes in the nation's largest banks seems to have bolstered confidence overseas. Markets are soaring in Europe and Asia. In Japan, where...

By Sara Goo  |  October 14, 2008; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Readers: It's Not a Turnaround Yet

Earlier today, we asked our readers: "Do you think the turnaround has begun?' So far, 61 readers have replied. The overwhelming majority answered -- either verbosely or succinctly -- "no." There was some cautious optimism sprinkled in among the comments, which you can see here. But by and large, most...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
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Today's Surging Stocks

Today's rally -- with 15 minutes left in the trading day, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 all are up 9 percent -- is generally across the board, sector-wise. Advancers on the New York Stock Exchange outpaced decliners by about 2,900 to 250. Three of the five most...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Obama: Here's My Economic Plan

Determined to keep the campaign spotlight on the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has added $60 billion in new tax breaks and other benefits to his economic stimulus plan and will urge Congress to act quickly after the election to provide middle-class relief, The Post's Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Treasury Pays Firm $2.5 Million to Consult on Bailout

One thing has been clear all along about the $700 billion Wall Street rescue-bailout: Someone would make money on it. That started today. Treasury just issued a statement saying it has hired Chicago investment consulting firm Ennis Knupp and Associates to advise on the implementation of the bailout/rescue plan. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Pelosi: U.S. in 'Survival Mode'

In remarks just concluded, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) touted the need for a relief package to aid taxpayers, as opposed to the $700 billion bailout/rescue plan aimed at Wall Street. "We're in a time when we need to tighten our belts," Pelosi said. "We need to take ourselves into...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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U.S. Regulators Prepare to Move Beyond $700 Billion Bailout

U.S. regulators are preparing to expand their response to the financial crisis beyond the $700 billion bailout package that was approved by Congress and signed into law earlier this month, sources familiar with the matter said today. An additional plan is set to be announced soon, most likely tomorrow morning,...

By Lexie Verdon  |  October 13, 2008; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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Do You Think the Turnaround Has Begun?

The Dow is up 500 points, or 6 percent, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both also up more than 6 percent in lunchtime trading. There's a feeling among some that the markets are starting to feel more confident that the global governments -- because that's who it's up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
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Sovereign in Talks With Spanish Bank

Sovereign Bank, a regional lender based outside Philadelphia that is struggling to survive mortgage-related losses, is discussing selling itself to Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, both sides confirmed this morning. The talks are in an "advanced" stage, Sovereign said. The terms remain unclear, but Santander is unlikely to pay a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Paulson To Speak With Top U.S. Bankers

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will meet with the heads of the top U.S. banks in Washington and by phone today at 3 p.m., as a plan moves forward for the federal government to invest directly in banks, nationalizing them to a degree in an attempt to stabilize them. Also, Italian...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Bush: 'Tough Times for Our Economies'

In a joint statement just concluded with visiting Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush said that these are "tough times for our economies, yet we can be confident we can work our way though these challenges." Italy has been a U.S. ally in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Bush to Speak Shortly: Watch Market Response

President Bush is scheduled to address the press in a few moments (at 10:55 a.m.) with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Presumably, Bush will make some remarks on the economy and the bailout package being readied. As a bit of spectator sport, take a look at what the markets do as...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Stocks Rally at Opening

Like bulls behind a gate snorting to escape, stocks roared out at the opening bell moments ago. In the first few minutes of trading, the Dow is trading up 400 points, or more than 4 percent, and rising. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also are trading up more than 4...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Stock Rally in the Offing?

The bond markets take the Columbus Day holiday today, but the stock markets do not. Will this be the day the markets push off the bottom of the pool and try to get above water? There are good signs. As The Post's Zach Goldfarb reported earlier, the Asian markets have...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 13, 2008; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Treasury Lays Out Plan to Improve Financial Stability

The head of the government's $700 billion financial rescue plan said that officials are assembling a "tool kit" of methods to implement the program, including investing money directly into banks and buying individual mortgages from them. Staff writer Peter Whoriskey reports on the 8 a.m. speech by Neel Kashkari, interim...

By Zachary Goldfarb  |  October 13, 2008; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Morning Briefing

Welcome to the Week After. U.S. stock markets fell their most ever last week while officials around the world grasped for solutions to stem a financial panic. It looks like there may be a respite today, though with the kind of volatility we saw last week, we never know. Asian...

By Zachary Goldfarb  |  October 13, 2008; 7:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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