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

Economy Watch: November 16, 2008 - November 22, 2008

Obama Offers Job-Creation Plan

President-elect Barack Obama started his weekly address out with some bad news: turmoil in financial markets, new-home sales at a 50-year low, higher jobless claims, the specter of deflation. He then outlined a plan that he says would create 2.5...

By Terri Rupar  |  November 22, 2008; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama  
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Congress to Autos: Here Are Terms For Your Loan

As promised earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a letter to the heads of GM, Ford and Chrysler this afternoon spelling out the terms that the troubled automakers must meet before Congress...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Dubai's Eye-Popping Resort Debuts Despite Crisis

Globe in a growing financial meltdown? Great time to throw a $20 million party to open a $1.5 billion resort! Last night in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates -- the Vegas of the Arab world -- the Atlantis Resort...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: What financial crisis?  
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Sources: Obama's Economic Team Taking Shape

UPDATE 4:46 pm: The Post's Anne Kornblut reports that a source close to President-elect Barack Obama confirms that New York Fed chief Tim Geithner is "almost certain" to be offered the Treasury secretary position, but he hasn't formally been offered...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Obama, economic team  
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Report: Fed's Geithner Will Be Next Treasury Secy.

NBC News is reporting that Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Fed, will be President-elect Barack Obama's nominee to be the next Treasury Secretary, following Hank Paulson, which whom he has worked closely during the current financial crisis. Here's...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner  
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Hill to Detroit: You Want Money? Play By Our Rules.

Earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she and Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will send a letter to the heads of GM, Ford and Chrysler, telling them what they need to show Congress in order to get...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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GM to Idle Plants

Troubled automaker General Motors, struggling to save cash, said today that it will cut production by idling five manufacturing plants for brief periods of time over the next two months. During the week of Dec. 8, GM will shut down...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: General Motors  
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Nov. 21, 2008

We understand the symbolic issue of people showing up in Washington in corporate jets." — GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson on the recent backlash....

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 21, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Quotables  
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GM Gives Up Two Corporate Jets

Struggling General Motors, which was blasted and mocked for using one of its corporate jets to fly chief executive Rick Wagoner to Washington this week to beg Congress for $25 million in bailout cash, is preparing to give back two...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: General Motors, corporate perks  
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Markets Open Up With Citi Blood In the Water

This is what it's come to: Wall Street has opened up this morning and analysts are attributing the enthusiasm to reports of the pending demise of banking giant Citigroup. Citi, which has seen its shares pummeled recent weeks, called a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Citigroup, stocks  
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Asian Stocks Rise

Asian stocks rose higher today despite a gloomier mood due to the deepening recession in the United States. South Korea led with its 5.8 percent gain today and Japan's Nikkei gained 2.7 percent. After a week of losses, Hong Kong...

By Sara Goo  |  November 21, 2008; 7:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Why Did Congress Stall On Autos Bailout?

Today, following two days of bended-knee pleading by Detroit's Big Three automakers and the UAW head, Democratic leaders in Congress put up a big red STOP sign right in front of them. It seemed odd. If the automakers don't get...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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Pelosi to Detroit: Show Us Plan, We'll Show You Money

Congressional leaders slammed on the brakes -- at least for now -- to any additional aid to struggling Detroit automakers. In a press conference just concluded, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and others told automakers...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Lawmakers Move Toward Autos Bailout Deal

Members of Congress, including Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Chris Bond (R-Mo.) have struck an agreement on language for an automaker bailout bill but it must now be approved by leadership,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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UAW Chief: Big Three 'Collapse' Could Be Imminent

United Auto Workers chief Ron Gettelfinger is holding a press conference right now giving an impassioned and emotional appeal to Congress and President Bush to approve a $25 billion bridge loan to GM, Ford and Chrysler before adjourning or they...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, UAW, automakers  
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Waxman Gains House Energy Committee, Auto Stocks Drop

Struggling Detroit automakers have lost a loyal friend in Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who will hand over the Energy and Commerce committee gavel to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), The Post's Paul Kane is reporting. Waxman is a strong backer of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: automakers  
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Oil Continues to Plummet

Crude oil dropped below $50 per barrel in trading this morning -- nearly one-third of its summer highs, when it was selling for $147 per barrel and gasoline was $4 per gallon. The global economic slowdown is killing demand for...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: gas prices, oil  
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Wall Street Opens Weakly Again

The markets opened lower this morning as they digest some more bad economic news; chiefly, the surprise jump in jobless claims to 16-year highs. Back-testing, that puts us at 1992, a recession. The question is how far back/how low will...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: stocks  
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Second Inaugural Address

Second Inaugural Address Roosevelt declares his unwillingness to accept the notion that one third of the nation can be regarded as superfluous in, saying, "We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country's interest and concern."...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 20, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  FDR's Fireside Chats  
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Global Stocks Fall After U.S. Plunge

Looks like whatever spooked the U.S. markets yesterday afternoon -- some say deflation fears, some say it was concern about financial stocks led by Citigroup, others say the overall deep global recession -- is having the same effect on the...

By Sara Goo  |  November 20, 2008; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Nov. 19, 2008

Paulson's Blunders U.S. News & World Report | Strategist Ed Yardeni catalogs what he sees as Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's biggest blunders in dealing with the crisis. Cut Workers or Wages? Library of Economics and Liberty | Arnold Kling...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 19, 2008; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Big Three Automakers Get Send-Off Tongue-Lashing

Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) saved his attack dog for last during today's House Financial Oversight committee hearing, a grilling of the heads of Detroit's Big Three automakers. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) lit into GM's Rick Wagoner, Ford's Alan Mulally and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Rep. Scott: Help Minority Auto Dealers, Too

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) just asked the heads of the three Detroit automakers to ask for federal help for their dealers -- specifically, minority dealers. The heads of GM, Ford and Chrysler are testifying before the House Financial Services now,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Civil War Brewing Over Autos Bailout

Here's an intriguing sub-plot to the $25 billion in government loans being sought by Detroit automakers: opposition from Dixie. GM, Ford and Chrysler are based in Detroit and are in real danger of going under unless they get the cash,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Rep. Ackerman's Car Troubles

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) just beat up on the heads of the Big Three automakers for flying their private jets to the hearings underway on Capitol Hill right now and then veered wildly off the road to complain about how...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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GM's Wagoner Hard To Pin Down

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), vice-chair of the Financial Services committee, which is grilling the heads of the Big Three automakers right now, just conducted a fun-to-watch interrogation of GM chief Rick Wagoner, trying to pin him down on exactly How....

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, General Motors  
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Frank Plays the Common-Man Card

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) preceded Capitol Hill testimony by the heads of Detroit's Big Three automakers by arguing that the government seems more than ready to bail out Wall Street firms but is balking at helping companies that employ regular...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Wall Street Opens Modestly

Despite getting some bad news -- October housing starts plunged to their lowest level in history -- the markets opened flat today. Perhaps the markets were buoyed by the record drop in consumer prices, driving by plummeting gas prices. In...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Shelby Favors Bankruptcy, Not Bailout for Detroit

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member on the Senate bankingcommittee, said this morning that he will not support the $25 billion in loans to Detroit that automakers are seeking. Instead, said Shelby, GM, Ford and Chrysler should be forced...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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What's Happening Today

Here's what we're watching today: 8:30 am Consumer Price Index data is released for October and the Commerce Department reports on the latest data on housing starts. Have we hit bottom in the housing market? Economists will be watching the...

By Sara Goo  |  November 19, 2008; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Dodd To Big Three: Don't Expect Aid Soon

Concluding a nearly four-hour hearing of the Senate Banking committee, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told the heads of the Big Three automakers testifying before him: Don't hold your breath for the $25 billion in loans you're asking for. GM, Ford,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Corker: UAW Should Not Be Paid To Not Work

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) decided to shift the focus off the heads of the Big Three automakers during the Senate Banking committee underway right now to whip up a little on the United Auto Workers. Corker told Chrysler chief Bob...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 7:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, UAW  
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Chrysler Considered, Rejected Bankruptcy

Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli, testifying before the Senate Banking committee right now, said his company has considered trying to arrange a pre-packaged bankruptcy, a fresh admission from a member of Detroit's troubled Big Three. Some lawmakers are advocating that GM,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Detroit bailout  
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Chrysler: Burning $1 Billion Cash Per Month

As we suggested earlier, today's Senate Banking committee hearing may pull back the curtain a little on Chrysler, which has been privately held since May 2007. Moments ago, Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli said that in the third quarter of this...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Detroit bailout  
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Economist Peter Morici: Know-It-All

University of Maryland econ prof Peter Morici, testifying before the Senate Banking committee right now, alongside the heads of Detroit's Big Three automakers, is evidently pretty sure about his command of his field of study. America has too many cars...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Wagoner: Half of All GM Vehicles Profitable

Under questioning before the Senate Banking committee underway right now, GM chief executive Rick Wagoner said about half of GM's 60 vehicle makes are profitable. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) asked the same question of Ford chief Alan Mulally and Chrysler...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: automakers  
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Nardelli: Where Chrysler Went Wrong

Chrysler chief executive Bob Nardelli, who used to run Home Depot and knows a thing or two about bubbles, just succinctly summed up what Chrysler did wrong over the past decade, as the housing bubble allowed homeowners to take out...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler  
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Voice Of Dissent: U-Md.'s Morici vs. Autos Bailout

"I am the sole panelist to speak out against the bailout," began Prof. Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist testifying before the Senate Banking committee hearing on the auto bailout currently underway on the Hill. Morici wants the companies...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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Big Three Heads, UAW Chief Begin Pleas

UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger kicked off auto industry testimony before the Senate Banking committee underway now and was so moved to tell his union's story that he went off-script. "There is a lot of misconceptions about our union," Gettelfinger said....

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, UAW  
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Debbie Stabenow Wants To Sell You A Car!

If Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) ever leaves the Senate, she's got a future on a car lot if she wants it. Testifying before the Senate Banking committee, Stabenow is something of a warm-up act for the main show: The heads of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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A Peek Inside Chrysler?

One thing that might come of today's Senate Banking committee hearing -- where the heads of Detroit's Big Three automakers are currently saying why they need a government bailout -- is a rare look inside Chrysler. Chrysler has been a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler  
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What if Hitler Had an ARM?

While we're waiting for the heads of Detroit's (former) Big Three automakers and the UAW head to get hauled before Congress and justify why they need a bailout at 3 p.m., let's have a little bit of fun. We wonder:...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Home Values, Sector Confidence Plunge

Two housing reports out today offer predictably gloomy news: Confidence in the housing market is historically low. And it's not likely to come back anytime soon. The National Association of Realtors said that median home prices fell across 79 percent...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: home prices  
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Nov. 18, 2008

The purpose of the financial rescue legislation was to stabilize our financial system and to strengthen it. It is not a panacea for all our economic difficulties." — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Nov. 18...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 18, 2008; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Quotables  
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Maxine Waters Renegotiates Constituent Mortgages

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) just revealed on C-Span that she, personally, is renegotiating troubled mortgages on behalf of her constituents. During a House Financial Services committee hearing, Waters said her constituents sign a release that allows her to negotiate on...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: mortgage workouts, troubled mortgages  
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Waters, Velazquez Hammer Paulson

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson just got a double-barreled attack from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) during the House Financial Services committee hearing. Their line of questioning: Why aren't you doing more to directly help homeowners pay...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Paulson, foreclosure, mortgage workouts, troubled mortgages  
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Paulson: No Money for Plumbers!

Lawmakers are struggling to figure out who is eligible for the $700 billion bailout/rescue money and who isn't, given the strangeness we've seen in recent weeks. For instance: credit-card company American Express says it is now a bank-holding company so...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: American Express, Paulson, bailout  
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Frank Calls Out Paulson In Hill Hearing

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson crossed sabers moments ago during the House Financial Services committee hearing that's taking a look at how the $700 billion bailout/rescue is working. Frank's position is that, when Congress authorized the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, bailout  
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Paulson: 'We Have Done What Was Necessary'

Here's the full text of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's testimony that he's giving right now before Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) Financial Services committee. "There is no playbook for responding to turmoil we have never faced," Paulson is saying. "We adjusted...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Paulson, bailout  
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Wall Street Opens Up Slightly

In contrast to recent days, the financial markets opened up this morning, albeit slightly. On the one hand, October wholesale prices dropped by their largest margin in history. On the other, computer-maker Hewlett-Packard said it expects fourth-quarter and 2009 earnings...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: economic indicators, stocks  
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Frank: Bailout Money Should Go To Mortgages

Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) Financial Services committee hearing is underway, with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair empaneled before it. In Frank's opening statement, he said he wants to get at two points...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, bailout, homeowners  
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Lobbying Is Job One

With his job, his company and maybe the entire U.S. auto industry on the line, Ford chief executive Alan Mulally made the rounds on morning talk shows today in advance of two days of Congressional hearings on a proposed federal bailout of the big three automakers. In interviews on CNBC, CNN and Good Morning America, he said that the auto industry was in the midst of restructuring to build more of the smaller, more fuel-efficient cars that have prompted consumers to flock to Japanese brands like Toyota. The federal assistance being requested by the Big Three, he said, is needed to complete that transition, and weather a broad economic downturn that has left automakers worldwide gasping for breath – and, in Detroit’s case, running out of cash.

By Washington Post Editor  |  November 18, 2008; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, Ford  
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Tuesday: What To Watch For Today

There are two important economic indicators due out today and a couple of Hill hearings that may provide some good copy. -- At around 8 a.m., the Bureau of Labor will release its Producer Price Index for October. -- At...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 6:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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UBS Cuts Back Exec Bonuses

UBS financial services firm, which asked for $60 billion worth of bailout money last month from the Swiss government, is instituting a new bonus structure for top executives that could actually take money away from directors if they make risky...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 6:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: UBS  
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Senate's Version of Bailout Bill for Automakers

Here are the highlights of the Senate's version of a bailout bill to help troubled Detroit automakers GM, Ford and Chrysler. It was introduced this afternoon by Speaker Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The House did not meet today but Speaker Nancy...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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Nov. 17, 2008

Opening the TARP program to firms outside the financial sector is a slippery slope... If automakers receive assistance from the TARP program, other industries will follow... Every dollar taken from the TARP program for other industries is one dollar...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 17, 2008; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Quotables  
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FedEx's Smith: Christmas 'Has Been Canceled'

FedEx chief executive Fred Smith stopped by The Post this afternoon for a chat with reporters and editors. Smith, a 10-percent owner of Washington's NFL team and whose company name adorns the stadium, was in town last night for the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: FedEx  
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2005 Mark Cuban Blog Posting on Mamma.com

In a March 2, 2005, blog posting, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban -- accused by the SEC today of insider trading -- talked about his investment into search engine Mamma.com, the company at the center of the SEC's charge. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Somali Pirates Hijack Saudi Oil Tanker

The Saudi-owned tanker Sirius Star was taken by Somali pirates on Saturday in their boldest move yet and sits in anchorage, awaiting ransom. The vessel left the Persian Gulf on Nov. 10 and was bound for the Caribbean Sea. It...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: pirates  
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SEC Charges Mark Cuban With Insider Trading

UPDATED with response from Cuban, lawyers: The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with insider trading. The reported charge relates to Cuban's alleged selling of 600,000 shares of the search engine Mamma.com just before they...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
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Stocks Stage Mid-Day Rally

The markets have shrugged off their morning blues and crafted a bit of a mid-day rally, pulling mostly even on the day. By about 12:53 p.m., the Dow is trading up about 50 points, or less than 1 percent. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: stocks  
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Autos Action Starting Soon on Hill

The wheels will soon start turning, so to speak, on some form of bailout relief for the troubled Detroit automakers. The Senate convenes for its lame-duck session today at noon, and an autos package will be on the front burner....

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout  
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Economists: Unemployment to Crest at 7.5 Percent

The National Association of Business Economists' poll of 50 forecasters released today predicted that the U.S. unemployment rate -- now at a 14-year high of 6.5 percent -- will top out at 7.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009....

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: economic forecasts, economic indicators  
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Wall Street Unmoved by G-20, Opens Poorly

Unimpressed with the G-20's actions, or lack thereof, over the weekend and further depressed by the massive Citigroup layoffs, Wall Street opened down across the board this morning. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 17, 2008; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: stocks  
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What's Happening Today

Japan has officially followed the Euro-zone into a recession, the Japanese government announced today. The country's gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Japan...

By Sara Goo  |  November 17, 2008; 6:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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