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

Economy Watch: November 23, 2008 - November 29, 2008

Buffett's Company Climbs Back Above $100K/Share

Super-investor and World's Richest Man Warren Buffett has been the subject of a few trendy "has the Oracle of Omaha lost his touch?" articles recently, thanks to his (so-far) money-losing stakes in Goldman Sachs and GE and the fact that...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 26, 2008; 5:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett  
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Wall Street Stages Turkey Rally

UPDATE: This marks the Dow's best four-day rally since 1932. That's the good news. The bad news is: The worst year of the Great Depression -- 1933 -- was still to come. ------ Wall Street wrapped up a four-day winning...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 26, 2008; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: great depression, stocks  
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Chrysler Owner Cerberus Turns On Daimler

Majority Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital -- named for the three-headed dog of mythology -- is baring its fangs at German automaker Daimler, who sold Cerberus its stake in Chrysler last year. Cerberus is a private-equity firm known for buying troubled...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 26, 2008; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Detroit bailout  
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Slowing China Slashes Interest Rates

If anything has been certain over the past decade, it's been the double-digit growth surge of the Chinese Dragon. Fueled by cheap labor and an authoritarian government creating -- out of whole cloth -- a patronage-based laissez-faire capital market, China...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 26, 2008; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: China  
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Nov. 26, 2008

The reality is that sometimes policymaking in Washington can become too insular." — President-elect Barack Obama on why he created an economic advisory board....

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 26, 2008; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Quotables  
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First Inaugural Address

First Inaugural Address On March 4, 1933 Roosevelt gave his first inaugural address. He faced a world in which France and England were nationalizing sick industries, Germany and Italy were racing towards military dictatorships, and, at home, Americans were questioning...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 26, 2008; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  FDR's Fireside Chats  
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A Quick History of U.S. Government Bailouts

Here's a nice graphical wrap-up of 14 of the biggest U.S. government bailouts of entities in dire straits -- ranging from railroads to airlines to cities to banks -- provided by the reporters at ProPublica, the newish non-profit investigative journalism...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 26, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: bailout  
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Drumroll Please...

Early numbers are out, and the results of the economic indicators are -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- not good. The Labor Department reported that initial requests for unemployment benefits fell from the previous week's figure...

By Washington Post editors  |  November 26, 2008; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: economic indicators  
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No Holiday for the Economy

It may be Thanksgiving eve, but there's still work to be done on the economy. Several economic indicators are expected out this morning. Here's what we'll be watching for: At 8:30 a.m. we'll have weekly jobless claims and Oct. personal...

By Washington Post editors  |  November 26, 2008; 8:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Modest Dow Rally Promises Rare Event

UPDATED at 5:03 p.m.: Like a dog furiously paddling to keep its nose above water, the Dow finished up on the day -- by an entire 36.08 points, or .02 percent, to complete a three-day winning streak. At least in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: stocks  
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Nov. 25, 2008

I wish, and I know you all wish, there was sort of one action we could take and the economy would turn around and the financial system would be in the kind of shape we'd like it to be...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 25, 2008; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Quotables  
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Survey: Home Prices Take Record Plunge

A widely watched measure of home prices -- the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index -- reported that prices nationally dropped 16.6 percent in the third quarter (pdf) compared with the same period a year ago, beating the previous record...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: economic indicators, home prices  
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Obama Goes After Farm Subsidies

In a speech just concluded announcing two more economy appointees -- CBO chief Peter Orszag to the Office of Management and Budget and Robert Nabors (House Approp. Comm.) to be his deputy -- President-elect Obama gave an example of one...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, farm subsidies  
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FDIC Chair: More Problem Banks

FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair said today that the number of "problem" banks and thrifts in the third quarter rose from 117 at the end of the second quarter of this year to 171 at the end of the third quarter,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: FDIC, banks  
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AIG Axes Exec Compensation

Troubled insurance giant AIG, which has received $125 billion in government bailout money and outraged lawmakers and taxpayers by continuing to splurge on luxe vacations for its people, just announced that it would severely cut back its executive compensation. AIG...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AIG, executive compensation  
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Paulson: 'I Wish' There Were Quick-Fix To Crisis

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson just concluded a news conference, talking about the $800 billion loan fund announced by Treasury and the Fed to bolster personal credit. "I wish, and I know you all wish, there was sort of one action...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Paulson, bailout  
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Wall Street Opens Up

The markets opened in positive territory this morning, extending -- at least for the first 20 minutes of the trading day -- the strong two-day rally that began last Friday shortly after it was learned that New York Fed president...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 25, 2008; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: stocks  
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Today: A Busy Lineup

It's looking like a day in which we will ingest a lot of economic news. Here's what we'll be watching: 8:30 a.m.: Gross Domestic Product (3rd quarter, preliminary, revised), durable goods 9:00 a.m.: Case-Shiller home price data 10:00 a.m.: Treasury...

By Sara Goo  |  November 25, 2008; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Citi Stands By $20 Million Mets Stadium Deal -- With Taxpayer Money

The New York Mets have left Shea Stadium for a new next-door ballpark set to be opened next season, called Citi Field. Yes, that Citi. The Citi that, in October, got $25 billion worth of government bailout money and today...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Citigroup  
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Treasury Extends Money-Market Guarantee

The Treasury just announced that it is extending until April 30, 2009, its guarantee on deposits in money-market funds, which was put into place on Sept. 19. At the time, Treasury said the guarantee would be in place for three...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Paulson, Treasury, money market funds  
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CNBC's Dirty Pool Boys

Business, and business reporting, depends on analogies and metaphors to explain complicated ideas and financial instruments in easier-to-understand terms. In recent days, we've heard phrases such as: "Pushing on a string:" To take action that provides no result. If you...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: business metaphors  
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Paulson on Geithner: He's the Tops

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson just released an endorsement of the nomination of New York Fed President Tim Geithner to succeed Paulson at Treasury. Depending on how you think Paulson has performed over the past few months, the endorsement is either...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Paulson, Treasury  
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Obama Rolls Out Econ Team, Dings Dow Rally

The only semi-surprise from President-elect Barack Obama's just-concluded news conference on his economic team is the nomination of Melody Barnes to be the director of the Domestic Policy Council, advising the president on matters such as Social Security reform. Barnes,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, economic team, stocks  
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The Final Insult: GM, Tiger Woods Split

So far in the past year, troubled U.S. auto giant General Motors has seen its stock plummet from more than $28 per share to barely $3 per share, the company saw vehicle sales sink by historic levels, it's in danger...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: General Motors, automakers  
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Nov. 24, 2008

We have made these kind of decisions in the past. We made one last night. And if need be we will make these kinds of decisions to safeguard our financial system in the future." — President Bush on the...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 24, 2008; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Quotables  
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Bush: 'Tough Situation . . . but We'll Recover'

President Bush made a brief statement after meeting with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson moments ago, saying, "This is a tough situation for Americans, but we'll recover from it." Bush said he and Paulson talked extensively about this morning's $20 billion...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bush  
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Nov. 24, 2008

Bernanke Grapples With the Crisis The New Yorker | John Cassidy offers a sweeping profile of Ben Bernanke, the man at the center of the storm. A Team of External Experts Economix | Princeton economist Alan Krueger has some...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  November 24, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Christina Romer To Head Obama's Economic Advisers

Christina Romer, a Cal-Berkeley economist and half of a husband-wife team of economists, will be appointed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by President-elect Barack Obama, members of his team tell The Post. Romer would join Tim Geithner, Larry...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, economic team  
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October Existing Home Sales Drop

In data released moments ago by the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes fell 3.1 percent in October compared to September and were down 1.6 percent compared to October 2007. In news that directly affects current homeowners, the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: economic indicators, home prices, home sales  
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Citi Bailout Kick-Starts Wall Street

Markets opened up this morning following the weekend news of the federal $20 billion buy-in to Citi, a move aimed at rescuing the struggling financial giant. Another rally point: News that President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are working up...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Citigroup, stocks  
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What's Happening Today

It was a busy weekend for folks at the Treasury and the Federal Reserve (and our financial reporting team!). After a difficult week in which its shares plunged 50 percent, Citigroup received a bailout from the federal government, which has...

By Sara Goo  |  November 24, 2008; 6:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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