Archive: business

Best quitter ever? JetBlue flight attendant slides out in style

Nobody likes a quitter. Except for the 11,819 people and counting on the newly created Facebook fan page of Steven Slater. Or the 700 fans of the page What Would Steve Slater Do (WWSSD). Or the commentators on blogs who write statements such as, "Give the guy a medal! I...

August 10, 2010; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (28)

Charitable giving: Where do you stand?

The recession has hit particularly hard in Washington, and even as donations dwindle to so many good causes, the call for help grows. If the downturn has exposed the region's greater vulnerabilities, it's also revealed many new possibilities for each of us to lend a hand. The Washington Post wants...

November 21, 2009; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 14, 2008; 03:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 14, 2008; 03:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 14, 2008; 02:09 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 14, 2008; 01:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 14, 2008; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 14, 2008; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 14, 2008; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (6)

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...

October 14, 2008; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 14, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 14, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 14, 2008; 09:28 AM ET | Comments (8)

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...

October 14, 2008; 07:12 AM ET | Comments (6)

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...

October 13, 2008; 06:33 PM ET | Comments (16)

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...

October 13, 2008; 03:54 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 13, 2008; 03:02 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 13, 2008; 02:50 PM ET | Comments (17)

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...

October 13, 2008; 01:01 PM ET | Comments (10)

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,...

October 13, 2008; 12:43 PM ET | Comments (13)

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...

October 13, 2008; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (68)

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...

October 13, 2008; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 13, 2008; 11:43 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 13, 2008; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 13, 2008; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 13, 2008; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 13, 2008; 09:24 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 13, 2008; 08:40 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 13, 2008; 07:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Paulson: U.S. Will Invest in Banks

UPDATED at 7:35 p.m. In remarks to the media just concluded, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said the federal government will use the authority it has been granted by the $700 billion Wall Street bailout/rescue law to buy actual stakes in U.S. banks, in addition to merely buying troubled assets off...

October 10, 2008; 07:32 PM ET | Comments (88)

G-7: No Specifics for Global Credit Rescue

Here is the text of the G-7 joint statement released moments ago here in Washington. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is expected to answer questions in about 30 minutes. A quick read of the statement gives the impression that the member nations agree to guidelines for helping unfreeze the global credit...

October 10, 2008; 06:20 PM ET | Comments (11)

Awaiting Crucial G7 Comments

The G7 is meeting here in Washington right now and a joint statement is expected at about 6 p.m. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will hold a press conference at 6:45 p.m. The G7 is made up of the finance ministers from Canada, Italy, England, France, Germany and Japan, along with...

October 10, 2008; 05:40 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Impossible-To-Please Markets

Watching the last half-hour of trading on Wall Street today was like watching a football game when your team is ahead by a field goal, you've got the ball and you're trying to run out the clock to keep the other team from getting another chance to score. All people...

October 10, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (11)

Two Big Financials Getting Hammered

Yesterday, it was America's two largest automakers -- GM and Ford -- that saw their stocks get pummeled. Today, it's two of America's biggest financial institutions -- Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Goldman is trading down about 17 percent on the day, while Morgan Stanley is trading down 38 percent...

October 10, 2008; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (8)

Markets Try For Last-Minute Rally

With less than an hour left on a disastrous trading week, Wall Street is trying to mount a face-saving rally. By about 3:20 p.m., the Dow was well up off its session lows, and flirted with rocketing toward even on the day before dropping back down to about 144 points...

October 10, 2008; 03:21 PM ET | Comments (3)

CNBC's Burnett Forecasts Sunshine

CNBC's Erin Burnett has taken on the role of Miss Sunshine, trying hard to look for any silver lining in the current crisis, God love her. When teasing a story on crashing General Motors this afternoon, Burnett said: "Why is everyone so obsessed about this story? GM has been in...

October 10, 2008; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (2)

Lehman Swaps Settling for Pennies on Dollar

UPDATED AT 3:02 p.m. The Lehman auction has concluded and set a price of 8.625 cents on the dollar for the debt. That means sellers of credit-default protection will have to pay holders 91.375 cents on the dollar, setting up the biggest-ever payout in the $55 trillion market, Bloomberg writes....

October 10, 2008; 11:31 AM ET | Comments (23)

Motley Fool: Good Time To Start a 401(k)

Let's say you're a young employee just starting out in your first job or you're a mid-career employee who -- for some reason -- has never started a retirement savings plan. We wondered: With the market so low, and with so many stocks so cheap, is now a good time...

October 10, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (5)

Bush: 'U.S. Government Is Acting'

In remarks just concluded at the White House, President Bush said the economic crisis is being driven by "uncertainty and fear" and has been "deeply unsettling for the American people." Bush reiterated the actions the government has taken so far -- the $700 billion Wall Street bailout/rescue plan, the Fed's...

October 10, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (11)

The Dow's Whiplash

That cheering sound you may have heard in the distance right now, regardless of where you're sitting, was emanating from the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where the Dow -- after shedding hundreds of points at opening and falling below 8,000 points -- crossed into positive territory....

October 10, 2008; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (2)

Where Is the Bottom?

Analysts seem to agree that this massive stock sell-off we're experiencing was a necessary purge, or "flush" in a system corrupted by sharp dealing and denial. But where will it end? Just a year ago, people were swapping tips on best to grow your nest egg, or which stocks were...

October 10, 2008; 09:23 AM ET | Comments (8)

Morning Briefing

It's ugly out there. Following yesterday's plunge in the U.S. stock markets, the markets overseas are following suit across the board. In Asia, the Nikkei had its second huge drop in a row -- 9.6 percent -- resulting in a 25 percent loss in the last five days. The Hang...

October 10, 2008; 07:31 AM ET | Comments (4)

GM: Bankruptcy 'Not An Option'

General Motors, which saw shares of its stock plummet 31 percent in today's trading, spurring speculation that the cash-strapped auto giant might be edging toward bankruptcy, released this statement: "Clearly we face unprecedented challenges related to uncertainty in the financial markets globally and weakening economic fundamentals in many key markets....

October 9, 2008; 07:16 PM ET | Comments (36)

Bush To Reassure Public Tomorrow A.M.

President Bush, who has said little publicly during this week's prolonged market dive, will make a statement about the crisis Friday morning in the Rose Garden, the White House said late today. Press secretary Dana M. Perino said Bush will "assure the American people that they should be confident that...

October 9, 2008; 07:10 PM ET | Comments (5)

Wachovia-Citi-Wells Talks Collapse

Citi said moments ago that its takeover talks with Wells Fargo and Wachovia to split up Wachovia have collapsed. Citi believed it had struck a deal to buy Wachovia, which turned around and signed a merger agreement with Wells Fargo. Lawsuits ensued. All parties agreed to stop suing each other...

October 9, 2008; 06:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bush: 'We'll Get Through This Deal'

President Bush said little today about the ongoing financial crisis, offering some vague words of reassurance at unrelated public events, The Post's Dan Eggen reports. He assured the president of Slovakia that the administration would continue to take "strong action," and said he was "confident in our economy's long-term prospects"...

October 9, 2008; 04:42 PM ET | Comments (18)

Dow Sinks Below 9,000 For First Time In Five Years

The early day gains on Wall Street have been long erased and replaced by steep losses, pushing the Dow below 9,000 for the first time since June 2003. Starting the final hour of trading today, the Dow is down nearly 300 points, or 3 percent. The S&P 500 is down...

October 9, 2008; 03:16 PM ET | Comments (1)

What Will It Take To Save GM?

Even Wall Street analysts are surprised by the pummeling being absorbed today by the world's biggest automaker (for now). Shares of General Motors are trading down nearly 18 percent on the day at less than $6 per share. That means the company's value, or market capitalization -- share price times...

October 9, 2008; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (105)

Tomorrow's Lehman Auction: Why You Should Care

Tomorrow, the credit default swaps backed by bankrupt investment bank titan Lehman Brothers will be settled. What does that mean and why should you care? The credit default swaps -- along with the mortgage-backed securities you've been reading so much about -- were one of the financial instruments at the...

October 9, 2008; 03:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

AIG Cancels Second Lux Retreat

Bad news for some at AIG: The big company-paid trip to the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif., was canceled this morning. The cancellation comes two days after a congressional committee blasted the company for paying $440,000 for a similar hotel retreat just a week after the federal government offered...

October 9, 2008; 01:38 PM ET | Comments (40)

Debt Clock Out of Numbers

The national debt clock, which hangs on a wall in Times Square (right next to an IRS office, by the way), has been recording the national debt since 1989 and was the brainchild of late, puckish Manhattan developer Seymour Durst. Now, the debt is so high, the clock has...

October 9, 2008; 12:23 PM ET | Comments (3)

Report: Wachovia-Citi-Wells Talks Hit Snag

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the messy three-way talks between Wachovia, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are stalling over several issues. The three parties agreed to stop suing each other until tomorrow over the deal, which began when it looked like Citi would buy Wachovia, only for Wachovia to...

October 9, 2008; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (2)

Wall Street Zooms Out of the Gate

We wouldn't start singing "Happy Days Are Here Again" just yet, but the markets have opened strong across the board today. About 30 minutes into the trading day, the Dow is up about 75 points, or a little less than 1 percent, off of its high so far today of...

October 9, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (5)

Wall Street Shifts Focus to Earnings

Third-quarter earnings are underway this week, and they provide a better look at the economy's underlying fundamentals than the toxic assets that have dominated the headlines and Tasered the markets for the past few weeks. Yesterday, aluminum giant Alcoa said its third-quarter profit had dropped 52 percent, sending shares of...

October 9, 2008; 09:24 AM ET | Comments (3)

Morning Briefing

Relative calm has returned to the markets overseas this morning. In Europe, stocks returned to positive territory pretty much across the board. The DJ Stoxx index is flat so far in trading today, and London's FTSE is up 1 percent. The government of Iceland took over the country's largest bank...

October 9, 2008; 07:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

AIG Gets More Government Bailout Cash

Only one day after it was revealed that AIG had sprung for a $440,000 spa vacation shortly after getting an $84 billion government-loan bailout comes this report: The government is loaning AIG another $38 billion. AIG, the world's largest insurer, said it has already drawn down $61 billion on its...

October 8, 2008; 06:34 PM ET | Comments (326)

Investor Advice From the Motley Fool

We called Alexandria-based Motley Fool, which has been advising individual investors like you for 15 years and asked senior analyst Tim Hanson our Wildly Popular Five Questions: 1. What's the one thing individual investors should keep in mind during these turbulent times? Hanson: Don't panic. While this may seem like...

October 8, 2008; 05:08 PM ET | Comments (12)

Markets Dive Following Paulson Remarks

A day that began with a 200-point loss on the Dow -- losses that were largely recovered during trading -- ended with a 189-point loss in a sudden dive in the 15 minutes following the conclusion of remarks by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who delivered a "here's where we are"...

October 8, 2008; 04:15 PM ET | Comments (6)

Paulson: 'Significant Challenges Remain'

UPDATED AT 3:45 p.m. In a speech just concluded, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said, "Although we are facing particularly difficult circumstances, I remain confident that we will work through these challenges, as we have always successfully worked through every economic challenge in the history of the United States." Other highlights...

October 8, 2008; 03:48 PM ET | Comments (4)

Pelosi: More Economic Stimulus Needed

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that taxpayers need a second economic stimulus plan, this one to the tune of $150 billion. The House passed a $61 billion kick-start plan last month but a similar proposal stalled in the Senate. President Bush has promised to veto such a measure....

October 8, 2008; 03:02 PM ET | Comments (3)

Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Citigroup Extend No-Lawsuit Period

Wachovia, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, which had agreed to suspend pending litigation among each other through noon today, said moments ago they would now refrain from suing each other until 8 a.m. Friday, The Post's Binyamin Appelbaum reports. The story: Citigroup thought it had a deal wrapped up to buy...

October 8, 2008; 01:23 PM ET | Comments (1)

Good News, Bad News on Economy

If we can take a moment to look away from Wall Street's gyrations and focus on the underlying, or real, economy, there were a couple developments this morning that had a good news/bad news aspect to them. On housing, the good news: The National Association of Realtors showed a surprise...

October 8, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (12)

Wall Street Dives at Open, Recovers Quickly

Don't walk away from your desk -- you'll miss a 300-point Dow swing. Wall Street is veering around like a Saturday night drunk. Assuming that Saturday night drunk is driving a Formula One race car. After diving 200 points in the opening seconds -- forget minutes -- the Dow is...

October 8, 2008; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (1)

Fear Rules Wall Street in Opening

Wall Street is spastic with fear and trading hasn't even opened yet. Futures have been all over the map. They were up following the rate cut and now they've just taken a pre-bell dive. CNBC anchor Mark Haines just looked up at his monitor showing the S&P 500 futures and...

October 8, 2008; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (1)

Five Questions for CNBC's Erin Burnett

CBNC's Erin Burnett has become one of the faces of the current financial crisis, thanks to her seemingly omnipresent perch on the business network, anchoring two daily shows and doing live standups from Washington. A screenshot of CNBC's Erin Burnett, one of the faces of the financial crisis. (Courtesy of...

October 8, 2008; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (3)

Morning Briefing

Will a coordinated interest rate cut this morning turn the tide? Before this morning's rate cut announcement, it was getting really ugly. In Japan, the Nikkei closed down nearly 9.4 percent, the biggest drop since Black Monday back in 1987. Investors remain concerned about the economy, and in particular about...

October 8, 2008; 07:29 AM ET | Comments (2)

AIG Says Resort Trip Was Reward for Employees

AIG has issued a clarification to the report that its executives enjoyed a luxury hotel stay a week after the federal government threw them an $85 billion lifeline. The gathering was a previously planned reward for life insurance agents, a spokesman for the company said, and fewer than 10 AIG...

October 7, 2008; 04:52 PM ET | Comments (34)

Wall Street Dives To Close

With about 10 minutes left on the trading day, the markets continue to shed value. The Dow is down nearly 400 points, or about 4 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both down about 4.5 percent. The markets were buoyed, briefly, by the Fed's announcement this morning that it...

October 7, 2008; 03:50 PM ET | Comments (12)

Joe Cassano: The Man Who Brought Down AIG?

Moments ago, members of the House oversight committee concluded their hammering of the two most recent AIG chief executives. Topic: Joe Cassano, the man who some credit with bringing down the insurance giant. Cassano was president of AIG's financial products division, which trafficked in the credit-default swaps, or CDS, which...

October 7, 2008; 02:53 PM ET | Comments (36)

Wachovia Chief: Customers Are Okay

In a letter from Wachovia Securities chief executive Danny Ludeman to his banking and brokerage clients yesterday, Ludeman said: "The most important thing to bear in mind is that your relationship with your financial adviser will not change," adding that the company's headquarters will remain in St. Louis. Ludeman wrote...

October 7, 2008; 01:40 PM ET | Comments (2)

Former AIG Chief Blames Mark-to-Market

Former AIG chief executive Martin Sullivan (headed AIG from 2005-2008) is testifying before the House oversight committee and moments ago blamed the so-called "mark-to-market" accounting rules for much of AIG's decline. Quick tutorial: Mark-to-market accounting requires companies to value assets on their books at the price they would sell for...

October 7, 2008; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (6)

Ninjas at AIG Hearing

At the AIG hearing underway on the Hill before the House oversight committee, New York State insurance regulator Eric Dinallo referred to the "NINJAs" of the current financial crisis, the slang term given by shady lenders to people who should never have gotten subprime -- or any kind of --...

October 7, 2008; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (2)

AIG Hearing: Where's Hank?

Conspicuously absent from the hearing underway into the AIG bailout before the House Oversight committee is Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, AIG's longtime chief executive. Greenberg was forced out by AIG's board in 2005 following fraud charges brought by former New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, who was forced to step...

October 7, 2008; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (4)

N.Y. Official: AIG Veered from 'Core'

At testimony underway right now on Capitol Hill before Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-Calif.) House Oversight committee, Eric Dinallo, the superintendent of the New York State Insurance Dept., said AIG's troubles came when the insurance giant "got well away from its core competency of insurance." Dinallo said AIG got too far...

October 7, 2008; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (1)

After Bailout, AIG Executives Head to Resort

UPDATED: 11:31 a.m. Less than a week after the federal government offered an $85 billion bailout to insurance giant AIG, the company held a week-long retreat for its executives at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., running up a tab of $440,000, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said...

October 7, 2008; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (510)

Markets Rally to Open, IMF Weighs In

Wall Street opened strong in its first few moments of trading, with the Dow shooting up more than 130 points, or about 1.3 percent, by 9:45 a.m. The S&P 500 was up about 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq up about .7 percent. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund decided to see...

October 7, 2008; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

Another Wild Day on Wall Street?

How strange have the times become? A 500-point rally by the Dow brings it back to being down only 349 points. That's how strange. It makes sense for regular folks who have 401(k)s to have rooted for yesterday's afternoon rally, hoping that the Dow would get back to at least...

October 7, 2008; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (1)

Morning Briefing

After U.S. stocks took a bungee jump yesterday, the markets overseas were mixed as foreign governments took their own steps to address the financial crisis. In Australia, the central bank cut interest rates by one percent, the biggest rate cut in 16 years. The move seemed to bolster the hopes...

October 7, 2008; 07:21 AM ET | Comments (1)

Wachovia Litigation at Self-Imposed Standstill

Three companies that have been at each others legal throats for several days have agreed to what they collectively call "a standstill of all formal litigation activity." The deal was made in consultation with the Federal Reserve, according to a statement on Wachovia's web site. The standstill lasts until Wednesday...

October 6, 2008; 04:59 PM ET | Comments (2)

Wild Day on Wall Street

The roller coaster metaphor for describing stock market activity has become, considering everything we have gone through over the last month, a cliche. So we will dispense with the roller coaster -- goodbye roller coaster! -- and describe today's market activity as a bungee cord jump from a very high...

October 6, 2008; 04:07 PM ET | Comments (2)

Records Drops Around the World

Though the Dow Jones industrial average is now down around 550 points, or 5.3 percent, at one point today it fell 782 points -- a record for a one-day decline. Across the pond in London, the FTSE 100 fell 7.9 percent, or 391.1 points, the largest drop since Black Monday...

October 6, 2008; 03:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

How Far Down Until Trading Halts?

We're not there yet, but today's precipitous drop on the Dow Jones industrial average -- more than 700 points or 7 percent -- prompts an interesting question. Just how bad would it have to get for the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading? Well, it depends. According to the...

October 6, 2008; 03:16 PM ET | Comments (5)

U.S. Stocks in Free Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen by record amounts four times in the last month and appears ready to set another record today, falling more than 700 points, or over seven percent, so far today. The record percentage drops for the Dow: 10/19/87 -- 22.61% 10/27/97 -- 7.18% 9/17/01...

October 6, 2008; 02:54 PM ET | Comments (4)

Waxman Asks Fuld: 'Is this fair?'

As expected, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee -- led by chairman Henry Waxman -- has had tough questions for Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld. Waxman displayed a chart showing that Fuld had received about $480 million in total compensation during the last seven years. Waxman then said Lehman's...

October 6, 2008; 01:25 PM ET | Comments (12)

Fuld Testimony Begins

Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, testifying before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that he takes "full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took based on the information we had at the time." He also said that with the benefit of hindsight, he...

October 6, 2008; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (7)

World Bank President: Include Developing Countries in Economic Plans

The Post's Neil Irwin reports that World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said today that the financial crisis could dampen global enthusiasm for free markets, and he proposed a new approach to international cooperation on financial issues. Major developing nations should be included in the efforts of the seven major...

October 6, 2008; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (4)

Bush Addresses Steep Market Drop

With the Dow down more than 400 points and investors around the world wondering why the approval of the $700 billion bailout hasn't started to turn around the markets, President Bush today told reporters "it's going to take a while" for the rescue plan to work. "We don't want to...

October 6, 2008; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (13)

Waxman Takes on Lehman CEO at Hearing

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing into the collapse of Lehman Brothers is underway, and if chairman Henry Waxman's opening statement is indicative of how he will handle the testimony of Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, we could be in for some real fireworks. In his statement, Waxman said,...

October 6, 2008; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (4)

Waxman Opens Hearing into Lehman Collapse

Having passed the $700 billion bailout bill last week, most members of Congress are now back in their Districts campaigning. But not members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. They stuck around to hold a hearing this morning on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Lehman Brothers, you probably...

October 6, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stocks Down 2 Percent at Market Open

With European and Asian markets tumbling overnight, the U.S. markets weren't far behind. The Dow opened down almost 2 percent, losing 200 points. The Dow is now down 29 percent from this time last year. The Nasdaq is down more than 2 percent, or 42 points. The S&P 500 is...

October 6, 2008; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (1)

What the Fed's New Action this Morning Means

The Post's Neil Irwin reports that Federal Reserve just announced new steps to inject cash into the financial system, another expansion of its efforts to get banks to stop hoarding cash. The Fed said it will immediately take advantage of authority it was granted in the financial rescue package...

October 6, 2008; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (1)

Morning Briefing

Week one after the $700 billion bailout bill becomes law and the overseas markets have this reaction: Sell! In Asia, the markets were down from 4 percent to more than 6 percent. In Europe, the DJ Stoxx index fell 5 percent as Germany announced a $69 billion rescue plan with...

October 6, 2008; 07:17 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 3, 2008; 04:21 PM ET | Comments (8)

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...

October 3, 2008; 04:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 3, 2008; 03:04 PM ET | Comments (6)

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...

October 3, 2008; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (4)

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...

October 3, 2008; 02:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 3, 2008; 01:54 PM ET | Comments (10)

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...

October 3, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (38)

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...

October 3, 2008; 01:07 PM ET | Comments (4)

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...

October 3, 2008; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 3, 2008; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (10)

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...

October 3, 2008; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 3, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 3, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 3, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (4)

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...

October 3, 2008; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 3, 2008; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (2)

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,...

October 3, 2008; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 3, 2008; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 3, 2008; 07:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 2, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 2, 2008; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 2, 2008; 03:08 PM ET | Comments (10)

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...

October 2, 2008; 02:56 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 2, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (9)

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...

October 2, 2008; 11:46 AM ET | Comments (8)

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...

October 2, 2008; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 2, 2008; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 2, 2008; 09:24 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

October 2, 2008; 07:03 AM ET | Comments (1)

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....

October 1, 2008; 10:28 PM ET | Comments (9)

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...

October 1, 2008; 10:14 PM ET | Comments (10)

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...

October 1, 2008; 09:55 PM ET | Comments (49)

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...

October 1, 2008; 09:20 PM ET | Comments (154)

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...

October 1, 2008; 09:10 PM ET | Comments (5)

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...

October 1, 2008; 08:48 PM ET | Comments (20)

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...

October 1, 2008; 08:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

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...

October 1, 2008; 06:20 PM ET | Comments (15)

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...

October 1, 2008; 05:35 PM ET | Comments (37)

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,...

October 1, 2008; 04:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

'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,...

October 1, 2008; 02:38 PM ET | Comments (70)

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...

October 1, 2008; 01:59 PM ET | Comments (20)

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...

October 1, 2008; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (85)

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....

October 1, 2008; 01:27 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 1, 2008; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (8)

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...

October 1, 2008; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

October 1, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (12)

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...

October 1, 2008; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 1, 2008; 09:27 AM ET | Comments (5)

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...

October 1, 2008; 08:54 AM ET | Comments (3)

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...

October 1, 2008; 07:08 AM ET | Comments (9)

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...

September 30, 2008; 07:55 PM ET | Comments (203)

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...

September 30, 2008; 05:03 PM ET | Comments (136)

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...

September 30, 2008; 03:42 PM ET | Comments (44)

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...

September 30, 2008; 02:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

September 30, 2008; 02:01 PM ET | Comments (2)

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...

September 30, 2008; 01:13 PM ET | Comments (189)

'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...

September 30, 2008; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (6)

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...

September 30, 2008; 11:16 AM ET | Comments (5)

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...

September 30, 2008; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

September 30, 2008; 09:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

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....

September 30, 2008; 08:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

September 30, 2008; 07:04 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

September 29, 2008; 07:34 PM ET | Comments (12)

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...

September 29, 2008; 05:56 PM ET | Comments (4)

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...

September 29, 2008; 05:27 PM ET | Comments (14)

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...

September 29, 2008; 04:53 PM ET | Comments (31)

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....

September 29, 2008; 04:26 PM ET | Comments (11)

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,...

September 29, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (33)

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...

September 29, 2008; 03:21 PM ET | Comments (25)

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...

September 29, 2008; 03:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

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....

September 29, 2008; 02:49 PM ET | Comments (26)

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...

September 29, 2008; 02:15 PM ET | Comments (39)

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...

September 29, 2008; 01:55 PM ET | Comments (28)

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...

September 29, 2008; 01:53 PM ET | Comments (9)

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...

September 29, 2008; 01:17 PM ET | Comments (7)

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...

September 29, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

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,...

September 29, 2008; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

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...

September 29, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (2)

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,...

September 29, 2008; 09:59 AM ET | Comments (2)

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 --...

September 29, 2008; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

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...

September 29, 2008; 07:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

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...

September 29, 2008; 07:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

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...

September 28, 2008; 06:36 PM ET | Comments (2)

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...

September 28, 2008; 05:23 PM ET | Comments (19)

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...

September 28, 2008; 04:20 PM ET | Comments (111)

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...

September 28, 2008; 03:54 PM ET | Comments (3)

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...

September 28, 2008; 03:37 PM ET | Comments (5)

Capitol Hill Talks Continue

Negotiations on Capitol Hill continued today on the Bush administration's plan to stabiliize the U.S. financial system. Democratic leaders said that staff aides are working through some of the issues early in the day and the high-level negotiations involving members of Congress will come later. One member of the Democratic...

September 27, 2008; 01:20 PM ET | Comments (2)

Frank, Pelosi Hammer McCain -- Again

In a press conference just concluded on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) an "intervening event" without even naming him, saying that progress was being made on Friday until McCain showed up. The tart-tongued Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services...

September 26, 2008; 05:09 PM ET | Comments (5)

Markets Surge at Close

UPDATED at 4:10 p.m.: A big last-minute surge by the financials -- JP Morgan, Bank of America, American Express and Citigroup -- sent the Dow to its highest levels of the day, as it closed up 121.07 points at 11,143.13, a gain of just more than 1 percent. Still, the...

September 26, 2008; 03:42 PM ET | Comments (3)

Gold Hoarders Cause Mint Stoppage

The U.S. Mint has temporarily halted sales of its American Buffalo 24-carat gold one-ounce bullion coins because "inventories have been depleted," the Mint said. The coin sold for $800 on the Mint site. The Mint can't keep up with demand from panicky investors looking for something -- anything -- that...

September 26, 2008; 03:35 PM ET | Comments (10)

Dems' 'Discussion Draft' of Bailout Bill Already Changing

We're posting a copy of the Democrats' "discussion draft" (pdf) of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) referred to earlier today. This is their response to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's plan. Please note: The situation unfolding on the Hill is so fluid and moving...

September 26, 2008; 01:42 PM ET | Comments (37)

Cantor Retreat May Unclog Deal Talks

While one key House Republican sent an ultimatum this morning, another offered a critical olive branch that could provide the political support for what some are calling a "hybrid" bailout deal. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the lead author of an alternative GOP proposal, said minutes ago that he's willing to...

September 26, 2008; 01:05 PM ET | Comments (16)

Frank: Deal Only 'Few Days' Away

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chair of the House Financial Services committee and a key figure driving the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, told The Post's Lori Montgomery that a deal on the plan can now be reached "within a few days," now that the House Republicans are back at the...

September 26, 2008; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (6)

White House Predicts Deal by "Opening Bell" Monday

White House press secretary Dana Perino said President Bush and his aides have been in close consultation with congressional leaders today, and predicted that a final deal was possible by "the opening bell on Monday." She also suggested that the administration was open to further compromises, but she declined to...

September 26, 2008; 11:53 AM ET | Comments (5)

Dems Blast McCain, House GOP for Stalling Bill

In a news conference on Capitol Hill still underway, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said "the insertion of presidential politics has not been helpful. I repeat: The insertion of presidential politics has not been helpful." Reid went on to say that several days ago, he asked Sen. John McCain...

September 26, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (34)

Bush Says Rescue Plan Will be Passed

President Bush said key negotiators will "rise to the occasion" and pass a bailout bill to address the U.S. financial crisis. "We are going to get a package passed," Bush said in a televised message just now that aimed to reassure the markets. "We will rise to the occasion...

September 26, 2008; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (7)

Dow Opens Down Triple Digits

After closing up 196 points yesterday, the Dow fell at the opening bell this morning 140 points, with financial stocks taking a hit. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell by 21 points and the technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 49 points as the market awaits President Bush's scheduled televised remarks...

September 26, 2008; 09:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lower Open Likely for Markets

The stock markets overseas were none too pleased to see the talks in Congress fall apart yesterday evening, after a day in which the Dow surged on optimism that the $700 billion bailout proposal deal would be completed. The late evening announcement that troubled thrift Washington Mutual was sold to...

September 26, 2008; 07:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

No Deal Yet, Talks Resume Tomorrow

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's late-night talks with key lawmakers on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout have ended for tonight with no deal struck, The Post's Lori Montgomery reports. Talks will resume tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said progress was made tonight but blamed Republicans for...

September 25, 2008; 10:33 PM ET | Comments (4)

Deal Stalls, Talks Continue Into Night

Hours after some key congressional leaders said the $700 billion Wall Street bailout was all but signed, chafing from some members -- including House Republicans -- has stalled the bailout's forward progress, sending talks into the night. At the moment, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is hudding in a conference room...

September 25, 2008; 10:07 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bailout Or No, Big Three Gets Theirs

Quietly, as attention has focused on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan, Detroit automakers are thisclose to getting at least $25 billion in direct loans from Congress to help them produce new high-fuel-efficiency vehicles. The House authorized the loans yesterday -- which were included in last year's Energy Bill...

September 25, 2008; 06:55 PM ET | Comments (7)

Going To the Mattresses?

Classic Sleep Products, a Jessup, Md.-based bedmaker, has offered to send -- free of charge! -- 535 mattresses to Congress so lawmakers can work 'round-the-clock to "iron out" (their pun; not ours) the current financial crisis. We file this under the heading of shameless-but-cute promotional stunts. Classic Sleep chief executive...

September 25, 2008; 06:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Words From New Fannie, Freddie Chiefs

In their first public comments since the seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the companies' government-appointed chief executives signaled today that they are initiating wide-ranging reviews of how the firms do business, with the main goal of helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. The companies have already taken steps to reduce...

September 25, 2008; 04:42 PM ET | Comments (14)

Market Sustains Rally, Dow Closes Up 200

The Dow closed off its highs of today but managed to sustain a daylong rally, hitting the closing bell up 196.89 points to finish at 11,022.06, a gain of nearly 2 percent. The Nasdaq closed up nearly 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 closed up nearly 2 percent. The Dow...

September 25, 2008; 04:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

Bailout Money To Be 'Phased In'

UPDATE 3:28 pm From The Post's Lori Montgomery on Capitol Hill: House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the bailout deal reached by key lawmakers calls for dividing the $700 billion pricetag into three parts: Paulson would receive $250 billion immediately and another $100 billion upon White House...

September 25, 2008; 02:31 PM ET | Comments (35)

Dodd: "Fundamental Agreement" Reached on Bailout Bill

Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee emerged today from a meeting in the Capitol on a $700 billion package proposed by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve and said they have reached agreement on most of the issues dividing them....

September 25, 2008; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (30)

Market Rally Continues -- Dow Flirts With 300

Wall Street seems to be humming "Happy Days Are Here Again." A major rally across all of the boards has pushed stocks soaring throughout the day, as the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package becomes closer and closer to reality. As of 1:45 p.m. today, the Dow was up nearly...

September 25, 2008; 01:48 PM ET | Comments (1)

$1 Million Per Year for New Fannie, Freddie Chiefs

The government-appointed chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each will likely be paid more than $1 million a year in salary and bonuses, the regulator overseeing the companies said today. James Lockhart, the chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, confirmed the figure while being questioned by lawmakers...

September 25, 2008; 01:42 PM ET | Comments (35)

Pelosi: We Hope to Bring a Bailout Bill Soon

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters that House and Senate negotiators from both parties are hard at work on a $700 billion bailout package and that "we hope we will be able to bring a bill to the floor soon." She declined to say whether a bill could be...

September 25, 2008; 12:24 PM ET | Comments (46)

US Chamber: Senate Could Vote by Weekend

After spending the morning on the Hill, U.S. Chamber of Commerce top lobbyist R. Bruce Josten said that he believes that the Senate is moving toward a positive vote on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill by this weekend, and expects the House will follow by early next week,...

September 25, 2008; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (8)

Dow Shoots Out of the Gate

Okay, let's check here: Any other billionaires buying into the shaky financial sector, single-handedly propping up Wall Street for an entire trading day? No? None so far? Okay, well, then the markets appear to be up on their own this morning. So far, the Dow is up 100 points at...

September 25, 2008; 09:35 AM ET | Comments (3)

Morning Briefing

Washington Mutual will be on watch today after its credit ratings were cut yesterday and several news reports this morning indicate that the company is in talks to sell itself or be taken over by a private equity fund. Meanwhile, overseas, the credit crisis seems to have spread -- or...

September 25, 2008; 07:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Thursday: The Deadline Looms

Wall Street itself seemed to put down everything to watch and listen to Washington today; the Dow barely moved all day and finished with one of the lightest trading volumes in some time. Here on Capitol Hill, lawmakers have spent the past two days taking bites out of the $700...

September 24, 2008; 07:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

CBO Director: Bailout Could Worsen Crisis

Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, dropped a couple of surprises during his testimony before the House Budget committee this morning on the government's response to the current crisis. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are steadfast in their support of their $700 billion bailout...

September 24, 2008; 02:11 PM ET | Comments (12)

Report: White House Will OK Exec Pay Caps

The Associated Press is reporting that the Bush administration has accepted the idea of curbs on executive pay for the companies that participate in the $700 billion Wall Street bailout in exchange for passage of the bill. The pay caps have been a sticking point. Democrats -- and some Republicans...

September 24, 2008; 01:29 PM ET | Comments (53)

The $700 Billion Toilet Plunger

Using a dual-pronged effort, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) allowed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to explain his rationale for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout during the Joint Economic hearing underway on the Hill right now. It's all about keeping credit flowing, Bernanke said. Cummings asked...

September 24, 2008; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (12)

But Do You Need the Whole $700 Billion Up Front?

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan is running up against the rough shoals of politics. The central issue, as elucidated by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is grilling Bernanke before the Joint Economic committee right now, is the following: Why do...

September 24, 2008; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Buffett Effect

Tuesday's late news that Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett is sinking $5 billion into Goldman Sachs kick-started today's stocks futures market in the moments before today's opening of the stock market. Buffett is the world's richest man, according to Forbes, and is a Washington Post Co. director. He is a...

September 24, 2008; 09:35 AM ET | Comments (5)

Morning Briefing: World Markets Mixed on Buffett/Goldman Deal

At first, the markets overseas appeared to be cheering the news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is investing $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, in exchange for preferred shares in the firm. But after a few hours of trading in Europe, the markets appear more mixed. In Europe, the DJ Stoxx...

September 24, 2008; 07:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wednesday: Hank and Ben's Roadshow Rolls On

The Senate Banking committee got its whacks in today at Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and their $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan. Now, the rest of the Hill gets its two cents as both houses work toward something they can pass and President Bush can...

September 23, 2008; 06:43 PM ET | Comments (4)

Talk To Chuck (Schumer)? Can't. He's on TV.

An amusing media moment just before the end of today's nearly five-hour Senate Banking committee grilling of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke involving loquacious committee member Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Schumer ducked out of the marathon hearing before it ended and popped up on CNBC, to...

September 23, 2008; 03:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

Too Much Power for Paulson?

Surprisingly, what may prove to be the most controversial paragraph in in the three-page Wall Street bailout plan drawn up by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke wasn't mentioned until today's nearly five-hour Senate Banking committee hearing had almost adjourned. Here it is: "Sec. 8. Review. Decisions...

September 23, 2008; 03:01 PM ET | Comments (13)

Stocks Lose Morning Gains

Wall Street hovered in positive territory throughout the morning and into lunch, exciting hopes of a comeback after yesterday's 370-point loss. But the markets have now slipped slightly into negative territory as the Senate Banking committee hearing wears on, closely watched by traders. The Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P...

September 23, 2008; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (6)

Congress Questions the Bazooka

Some feisty questioning from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) directed at Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson over the $700 billion sum Paulson is asking Congress for, as the Senate Banking committee hearing wears on. Schumer's question, in essence: Could you live with less? Could we give you, say, $150 billion now and...

September 23, 2008; 12:33 PM ET | Comments (18)

Paulson: Plan Won't Stop All Foreclosures

In vigorous questioning from Senate Banking committee ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said the bailout plan will get at "the root cause of the problem" -- the housing crisis -- but not prevent all foreclosures. "What's it going to do for the homeowner?" Shelby asked. "Not...

September 23, 2008; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (7)

SEC's Cox: Subprime Probes Underway

Testifying at the Senate Banking committee hearing, SEC Chairman Chris Cox said his agency has more than 50 investigations open on subprime mortgage cases, trying to ascertain if anything illegal went on in the risky-mortgage market that contributed to the current crisis. In his testimony, Cox called for the regulation...

September 23, 2008; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (4)

Paulson Calls for Tough Rules

The senators have finished beating up on everyone and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson began his forceful testimony. "The events of today began many years ago with banks and lenders using bad lending practices and borrowers taking out mortgages they couldn't afford," Paulson said. He has gone off on a couple...

September 23, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (4)

Senate Goes After Regulators Past, Present

The big Senate Banking committee hearing is underway on Capitol Hill, where Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, SEC Chairman Chris Cox, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Jim Lockhart face a number of angry Senators. No one on the committee missed the opportunity to: A) Lash out...

September 23, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (11)

Report: Slow Holiday Sales Expected

As the markets set to open today, they will be greeted with some more not-sunny news: A report from the National Retail Federation that predicts the slowest holiday sales season in six years. The report does not predict a decline in holiday spending, compared to last year -- consumers are...

September 23, 2008; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

Bush Is Confident of Congressional Passage

President Bush, meeting in New York with Pakistan's President Ali Zardari, told reporters that he is confident Congress will pass the $700 billion economic recovery package that is being debated on Capitol Hill.

September 23, 2008; 09:14 AM ET | Comments (21)

Markets Head South Overseas

Stock markets in Asia and Europe followed the Dow south today, just as Washington's big government guns (Paulson, Bernanke and Cox) are getting ready to testify on Capitol Hill later this morning to press their case for Congress to quickly craft a Wall Street bailout. Although Democrats in Congress have...

September 23, 2008; 07:08 AM ET | Comments (1)

Tuesday: A Wary Look Ahead

The Dow soared some 700 points over last Thursday and Friday. Today, it lost half of that. What will Tuesday bring on Wall Street? Last week's stock surge was caused by the news that the federal government would proceed with a bailout, poised to buy some $700 billion in bank...

September 22, 2008; 05:55 PM ET | Comments (5)

Carlyle Chief Ready To Go Bargain-Hunting

David Rubenstein, managing director of Washington's Carlyle Group private-equity giant, said firms such as his would play a big role in eventually buying back from the government those private assets it is poised to bail out. In an interview moments ago on CNBC, Rubenstein said the coming transaction between the...

September 22, 2008; 04:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Friday Stock Gains: Erased

After declining at a steady pace throughout the day, stocks fell off the cliff during the last hour of today's trading, wiping out all of Friday's rally. The Dow closed down today more than 370 points, or about 3 percent, after closing up by the same amount on Friday. The...

September 22, 2008; 04:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Frank: Democrats, Treasury Agree on Bailout Plan Basics

The Post's Lori Montgomery reports this latest update from the Capitol: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, says House and Senate Democrats have agreed on the basic principles of a bailout plan. In particular, both sides agree to the creation of an oversight board and...

September 22, 2008; 03:19 PM ET | Comments (7)

Get Ready for Higher Gas Prices

On most television dramas, there's the main plot line, called the "A Story," and the secondary plot line, which is the "B Story." If the market performance is today's A Story, the B Story has become the price of oil. As of about 2:30 this afternoon, oil set for October...

September 22, 2008; 02:51 PM ET | Comments (36)

McCain: Bailout CEOs Should Get Pay Cuts

The Post's Michael D. Shear reports that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) declared himself "deeply uncomfortable" with President Bush's proposal to rescue the economy and said it must include an oversight board to ensure accountability of the $700 billion in government money. "I am greatly concerned that the plan gives a...

September 22, 2008; 02:21 PM ET | Comments (6)

Hill Action Weighs On Wall Street

Stocks continue their downward slide as the financial story becomes a political one and begins to affect the markets. The Democrat-controlled Congress is working toward a bailout plan that puts Treasury and Wall Street on a short leash, both of which may irritate Republicans, who likely will favor less federal...

September 22, 2008; 01:13 PM ET | Comments (3)

Senate Dems Release Their Bailout Plan

The Post's Lori Montgomery reports on the Democrat-controlled Senate bailout proposal: The Senate Democrats' plan calls for the creation of an emergency oversight board composed of the Fed, FDIC and SEC, plus two outside experts appointed by Congress. It also calls for the Treasury secretary to make monthly reports to...

September 22, 2008; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (20)

Mid-Morning Slump On Wall Street

With about 45 minutes to go before lunch, all three major Wall Street markets are down more than 1 percent, with the Dow off about 155 points, a slight recovery from its morning low of more than 180 points. Hardest hit, as expected, are financials. On CNBC, Sen. Evan Bayh...

September 22, 2008; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (3)

Wall Street Opens Cautiously

Thirty minutes into the trading day, Wall Street is down moderately as traders cautiously wait to see how the bailout takes shape. At 10 a.m., the Dow was down about 85 points, or about .75 percent. The Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor's were off a little over 1 percent....

September 22, 2008; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (3)

Wall Street Presses the Reset Button

Welcome to the Morning After. All eyes will be on Wall Street as the opening bell rings, to see how the markets respond following one of the most tumultuous weeks in the American financial sectors since the Great Depression. The Dow lurched wildly last week, losing hundreds of points one...

September 22, 2008; 09:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Morning Briefing

R.I.P., investment banks. The Federal Reserve announced late last night that the last two remaining investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, would become bank holding companies. This move puts them under tighter regulation and signals the end of an era for the independent investment bank on Wall Street. Speaking...

September 22, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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