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2008

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  1. -09-24-08 Warren Buffet's View of the Massive Bailout (MSNBC News)
      Warren Buffett explains why he thinks that Congress must act now to bailout Wall Street and why he is investing in Goldman Sachs now. 09-08

News
  1. -001 Bailout Bill Becomes Law (CNN News)
      "After two weeks of contentious and often emotional debate, the federal government's far-reaching and historic plan to bail out the nation's financial system was signed into law by President Bush on Friday afternoon." 10-08

  2. -001 Credit Availability Tightens (New York Times)
      "Strains worsened overnight in the credit markets, the plumbing of the economy that many businesses rely on to finance routine expenses like utilities and payroll. Banks sharply increased their lending rates on short-term loans, sending Libor, a globally watched benchmark rate, to its highest level ever. Several measures of anxiety in the market reached record highs. And new injections of money into the markets by central banks failed to dampen a hoarding mentality among financial institutions."

      " ''The money markets have completely broken down, with no trading taking place at all,' said Christoph Rieger, a fixed-income strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. 'There is no market any more. Central banks are the only providers of cash to the market; no one else is lending.' " 09-08

  3. -001 House to Re-Vote on Rescue Bill (MSNBC News)
      "An overwhelming Senate vote Wednesday night to pass the financial sector rescue bill set the stage for likely House passage of the measure on Friday." 10-08

  4. -001 World Markets Plummet Despite Bailout (CBS News)
      "Asian markets plunged during Monday trading and European stocks opened on the same downward slope, as global investors took scant comfort from Washington's passage of a $700 billion bank bailout and focused instead on deepening financial turmoil in Europe that threatens to slow global growth." 10-08

  5. -01 Deal Not Reached on Bailout of Wall Street (U.S. News)
      "House Republicans, who've been swamped with your phone calls demanding that they reject President George Bush's historically huge $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and bad mortgage bankers, have come up with another idea: Instead of just buying the worthless mortgages, make the banks buy insurance from Washington, which would pay on those that default." 09-08

  6. -01 Largest Bank Failure in History (MSNBC News)
      "As the debate over a $700 billion bank bailout rages on in Washington, one of the nation’s largest banks — Washington Mutual Inc. — has collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market."

      "One positive is that the sale of WaMu’s assets to JPMorgan Chase prevents the thrift’s collapse from depleting the FDIC’s insurance fund. But that detail is likely to give only marginal solace to Americans facing tighter lending and watching their stock portfolios plunge in the wake of the nation’s most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression." 09-08

  7. -04-09-08 World's Largest Companies (ABC News)
      "In total, the global 2000 companies now account for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value. Around the world, 72 million people work for these companies." 04-08

  8. -07-10-08 FDA Execs Reap Lavish Bonuses (CBS News)
      "It's been a bad year for the Food and Drug Administration's top brass. The agency's been accused by Congress of mishandling health scares linked to pet food, Heparin, Avandia and now, tomatoes, CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports."

      "But based on their bonuses, you would think it was a banner year at the FDA." 07-08

  9. -07-10-08 Officials: Fannie and Freddie are Solvent (USA Today)
      "Top federal officials Thursday emphasized that mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) were in no imminent danger of default, even while saying financial markets remained under considerable strain and calling on Congress to beef up regulation." 07-08

  10. -07-10-08 Toyota to Build Prius in the U.S. (CBS News)
      "Toyota Motor Corp. will start producing the hybrid Prius in the U.S. for the first time as the Japanese automaker adjusts its U.S. manufacturing operations to meet customer demands for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles."07-08

  11. -07-15-08 Congress Overrides President's Veto on Medicare (CBS News)
      "Congress on Tuesday rejected President Bush's veto of legislation protecting doctors from a 10.6 percent cut in their reimbursement rates when treating Medicare patients." 07-08

  12. -08-26-08 FDIC May Borrow from Treasury (MSNBC News)
      "Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) might have to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Wall Street Journal reported." 08-08

  13. -08-26-08 More Banks at Risk (MSNBC News)
      "The mortgage mess that has upended millions of homeowners’ finances is now taking a bigger bite out of the nation’s banking system."

      "And while depositors with insured accounts face little risk of losing their money, the insurance fund’s top regulator said it may have to borrow money from the Treasury to make good on that promise to consumers." 08-08

  14. -08-31-08 Study: Workers Worse Off (MSNBC News)
      "This Labor Day finds workers in worse shape than they’ve been in years, according to a scorecard released Monday by Rutgers University."

      "In its first national labor scorecard, the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations said more than 10 percent of Americans are unemployed, discouraged from seeking work or underemployed. That is a nearly 25-percent increase from one year earlier." 08-08

  15. -09-05-08 Jobless Rate Hits 5-Year High (MSNBC News)
      "The nation’s unemployment rate zoomed to a five-year high of 6.1 percent in August as employers slashed 84,000 jobs, dramatic proof of the mounting damage a deeply troubled economy is inflicting on workers and businesses alike." 09-08

  16. -09-06-08 Government to Take Over Fannie and Freddie (MSNBC News)
      "The government has formulated a plan to put troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under federal control, dismiss their top executives and prop them up financially, federal officials told the two companies yesterday, according to three sources familiar with the conversations."

      "Under the plan, which could prompt one of the most sweeping government interventions in the workings of financial markets in U.S. history, federal officials would place the firms under a conservatorship, a legal status giving the government the option and time to restructure and revive the companies, the sources said."

      "In an effort to contain the most profound financial crisis in generations, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., leaders of the Federal Reserve and other government officials have in recent months upended decades of precedent." 09-08

  17. -09-06-08 Why Should You Care About Fannie and Freddie? (MSNBC News)
      "The fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a big deal because these two mortgage companies have gotten so big. Between the two of them, they are involved in something like $5 trillion worth of mortgages — about half the mortgages in the U.S. The total is about the same as the entire amount of Treasury debt in the hands of investors, governments and other public holders. It's a big number." 09-08

  18. -09-15-08 Dow Stocks Have Worst Day Since 2001 (MSNBC News)
      "IA dramatic makeover of Wall Street sent stocks falling precipitously Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials sliding 500 points in their worst point drop since the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Investors reacted badly to a shakeup of the financial industry that took out two storied names: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co."

      "Stocks also posted big losses in markets across much of the globe as investors absorbed Lehman's bankruptcy filing and what was essentially a forced sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America for $50 billion in stock." 09-08

  19. -09-16-08 The Economy Is the Issue on Presidential Campaigns (MSNBC News)
      "Yesterday's meltdown on Wall Street brought the economy roaring back to the center of the presidential campaign, and the question for the final seven weeks of the general-election campaign is whether Barack Obama or John McCain can convince voters that he is capable of leading the country out of the morass." 09-08

  20. -09-19-08 Congress and Administration Work on Bold Initiative (MSNBC News)
      "President Bush on Friday asked Congress to approve extensive federal intervention in financial markets that he said is both warranted and essential to halt the worst financial crisis in decades. 'We must act now,' he said." 09-08

  21. -09-19-08 Why China Won't Come to the Rescue (Time.com)
      "Worse, Beijing paid $3 billion for a piece of the Blackstone Group just ahead of the private-equity firm's initial public offering last June — an investment that occurred about a nanosecond before the so-called subprime crisis began annihilating value on Wall Street and beyond. Fairly or not, the Blackstone stake has since become the symbol in China of a naive bunch of foreigners getting hooped by Wall Street sharpies. It's been the subject of withering public scorn in China and has drawn pointed private criticism from the highest levels of the Communist Party, banking sources in Beijing and Hong Kong have said. The message: Never again." 09-08

  22. -09-24-08 Where Things Stand With the Bailout (MSNBC News)
      "Lawmakers on Wednesday will continue the fight as the proposed $700 billion bailout of the U.S. financial system continues." 09-08

  23. -09-28-08 The Three Men Behind the Rescue Bill (Time.com)
      "[Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and New York Fed president Timothy Geithner had spent the past year staving off one disaster after another, for the most part working behind the scenes." 09-08

  24. -09-29-08 Citigroup Buying Wachovia (MSNBC News)
      "In the latest byproduct of the widening global financial crisis, Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia Corp. in a deal facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp."

      "Citigroup will absorb up to $42 billion of losses from Wachovia’s $312 billion loan portfolio, with the FDIC covering any remaining losses, the government agency said Monday. Citigroup also will issue $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants to the FDIC." 09-08

  25. -09-29-08 Lessons of Europe's Biggest Bailout (Time.com)
      "In the largest financial services deal ever signed, Fortis — part of a consortium alongside the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Spain's Santander — put up $34 billion in return for ABN's Dutch banking business, among other assets." 09-08

  26. -09-29-08 Rescue Bill Revealed (CNN News)
      "Key negotiators for the financial rescue plan will be busy trying to line up votes on Capitol Hill on Sunday to support the accord they reached soon after midnight [Sunday]." 09-08

  27. -09-29-08 Rescue Bill for $700 Billion Fails (MSNBC News)
      "The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue package, ignoring urgent pleas from President Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders to quickly bail out the staggering financial industry." 09-08

  28. -09-30-08 World Markets Respond After Bailout Fails to Pass (MSNBC News)
      "The historic carnage on Wall Street reverberated across Europe on Tuesday, with stocks volatile after U.S. lawmakers rejected a $700 billion bank rescue plan. Asian stocks fell." 09-08

  29. -10-01-08 Financial Crisis Hurts State Pensions and Budgets (ABC News)
      "The financial crisis on Wall Street is causing waves in statehouses across the country, where various governors are grappling with budget deficits, dwindling finances and plummeting pension funds."

      "As the credit market shut down at midday Monday, Massachusetts was unable to borrow the final portion of a $400 million loan from Wall Street investors to make quarterly aid payments to cities and towns and had to dip into its own funds to make up the $170 million shortfall." 09-08

  30. -10-01-08 Senate to Pass "Rescue" Bill (MSNBC News)
      "Congressional leaders said that adding tax breaks and increasing federal deposit insurance should improve chances a $700 billion financial rescue plan will pass the Senate Wednesday night, a message that didn’t resonate very much with a still-skidding stock market."

      Editor's Note: The "bailout" bill has been changed to a "rescue" bill. 10-08

  31. -10-04-08 For the Bailout to Work, the Housing Market Must Mend (USA Today)
      "Washington's financial bailout plan is now law. So the credit spigot will start flowing again, banks will resume lending, and an economic recovery can begin, right?"

      "Wrong. Experts say the most important thing that needs to happen before the $700 billion bailout even has a chance of working: Home prices must stop falling. That would send a signal to banks that the worst has passed and it's safe to start doling out money again."

      Editor's Note: Huh? Wasn't the purpose of the bailout to create credit flow? If the bailout isn't creating credit flow, what is it doing? 10-08

  32. -10-04-08 Is This Like Just Before the Great Depression? (Awesome Library)
      "Unlike during the Great Depression the government is now a huge part of the economy. And officials have moved quickly, if clumsily, to contain the crisis." 10-08

  33. -10-04-08 Vetting McCain's Health Plan (Newsweek)
      McCain's "Tax credits would move people out of group plans and into individual policies where the benefits aren't as good."

      "Almost all of the subsidy goes to people who have health insurance already, says Sherry Glied, a professor of health policy at Columbia University. The Tax Policy Center figures that, after 10 years, the plan cuts the number of uninsured by only 1 million, out of 45.7 million now. Barack Obama's $1.6 trillion plan would take 34 million off the rolls of the uninsured." 10-08

  34. -10-05-08 America's Credit Catastrophe (U.S. News)
      "If an imploding housing bubble and energy price superspike weren't damaging enough, our ailing financial system decided to slide into full cardiac arrest. And while the White House, Congress, and Federal Reserve have all shifted to DEFCON 1 to try to deal with the exploding credit crisis, even the perfect mix of fiscal and monetary policies seems unlikely to now prevent the worst recession in a generation." 10-08

  35. -10-06-08 Neel Kashkari New Czar for Bailout (Wikipedia.org)
      U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson named a new czar to oversee the bailout of Wall Street that includes the Troubled Asset Relief Program.. "Paulson named Kashkari to oversee the U.S. government's $700 billion financial stabilization program on October 6, 2008, as the interim head of the new Office of Financial Stability.[5] This is an interim appointment; the permanent head of the Office of Financial Stability will require Senate confirmation, which is unlikely before the November elections.[3]" 10-08

  36. -10-06-08 Stocks Worldwide Fall Sharply from Credit Concerns (New York Times)
      "The selling on Wall Street began at the opening bell on Monday and only intensified as the morning went on. Shares moved sharply lower as the banking crisis tightened its grip on the global economy."

      "The Dow Jones industrial average fell below 10,000 for the first time since 2004 after losing more than 500 points in the first hour. The index has lost more than 1,100 points — or about 10 percent — in slightly more than a week." 10-08

  37. -10-06-08 Treasury Investing $250 Billion in Banks (New York Times)
      "The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in large and small banks, according to officials. The United States is also expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for a period of three years, officials said." 10-08

  38. -10-07-08 Most Americans Stressed by the Economy (CNN News)
      "As many as 80 percent of Americans are stressed about their personal finances and the economy, according to the annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association." 10-08

  39. -10-08-08 Global Interest Rate Cut (U.S. News)
      "Today's unprecedented decision by the world's central banks to cut interest rates around the globe is exactly what the market needs. Unfortunately, it looks more like admission of what's going wrong in the global financial system than a true solution."

      "Panic selling on Monday and Tuesday that sent the Dow below 10,000 was caused by consensus on Wall Street that the government's $700 billion bailout plan simply didn't address fears that the credit crisis is spreading like wildfire outside of America's borders. That hasn't stopped. If anything, it's gotten worse this week. Banks simply aren't lending. Investors are willing to hide out in treasuries even though they're offering no return." 10-08

  40. -10-08-08 One in Six Owe More on Mortgage Than Home Is Worth (MSNBC News)
      "The relentless slide in home prices has left nearly one in six U.S. homeowners owing more on a mortgage than the home is worth, raising the possibility of a rise in defaults — the very misfortune that touched off the credit crisis last year." 10-08

  41. -10-09-08 What to Expect From the Economic Crisis (Time.com)
      "The pain will soon come to Main Street — in Beijing and Brussels as much as in Boise. Economists are already outlining the downward spiral that they predict will follow. Banks will cut back on their lending to households and businesses. Mortgages and car loans will become harder to get. That in turn will stifle consumer spending and crimp investment in companies, leading to production cuts and job losses. Judging by previous crises, it can take about 18 months to two years for a financial squeeze to spread to the rest of the economy, which means that 2009 is shaping up to be a bleak year everywhere."

      "If the global financial meltdown can be traced to an American export — the subprime mess — the U.S. will import the consequences. As the go-go economies of China and India hit the brakes, so too will demand for American goods and services." 10-08

  42. -10-11-08 Editorial: What Will Cause the Economic Panic to Stop? (Time.com)
      "Call it capitulation: around the world, traders spooked by no end of bad news are dumping shares wholesale. That process continued on Friday as indexes in Asia and Europe opened trading with breathtaking falls of up to 10%. Though most markets partially rallied to limit losses to single digits, it represented only the most recent in a series of bearish days that threaten to transform a global credit crisis into a global economic crash. Does this make sense?"

      " 'The markets have gone completely crazy and are reacting in fear to a bad situation in a way guaranteed to make it far worse,' says Marc Touati, deputy executive manager of the French economic- and finance-research group Global Equities."

      "The sell-off will end eventually, one way or another. Governments could follow the nerve-racked Russians and suspend trading altogether, in a bid, as Touati says, to stop 'markets from sawing off the branch they're sitting on.' The more likely solution, Touati predicts, will soon come as "smart and steely investors realize selling now is a sure way to lose, while buying now will determine who the big winners tomorrow will be." 10-08

  43. -10-11-08 Editorial: Where Did the Trillions in the Stock Market Go? (Time.com)
      "If you're looking to track down your missing money — figure out who has it now, maybe ask to have it back — you might be disappointed to learn that is was never really money in the first place."

      "Robert Shiller, an economist at Yale, puts it bluntly: The notion that you lose a pile of money whenever the stock market tanks is a 'fallacy.' He says the price of a stock has never been the same thing as money — it's simply the 'best guess' of what the stock is worth." 10-08

  44. -10-23-08 Greenspan Admits 'Mistake' (MSNBC News)
      "Accused of contributing to the meltdown, but denying that it was his fault, Greenspan told a House panel the crisis left him — an unabashed free-market advocate — in a 'state of shocked disbelief.' " 10-08

  45. -11-24-08 Government Backs $308 Billion Bailout of Citigroup (MSNBC News)
      "Rushing to rescue Citigroup, the government agreed to shoulder hundreds of billions of dollars in possible losses at the stricken bank and to plow a fresh $20 billion into the company." 11-08

  46. -12-05-08 Democrats and White House May Have Deal on Automakers (New York Times)
      "Faced with staggering new unemployment figures, Democratic Congressional leaders said on Friday that they were ready to provide a short-term rescue plan for American automakers, and that they expected to hold a vote on the legislation in a special session next week." 12-08

  47. -12-05-08 Editorial: 10 Cars that Sank Detroit (U.S. News)
      "The global financial crisis is suffocating the Detroit automakers, but the problems at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have been festering for years—even when the mighty "Big Three" were earning billions. Aging factories, inflexible unions, arrogant executives and shoddy quality have all damaged Detroit. Now, with panicky consumers fleeing showrooms, catastrophe looms: Without a dubious federal bailout, all three automakers face the prospect of bankruptcy." 12-08

  48. -12-05-08 Editorial: 7 Worst Ways to Fix Detroit (U.S. News)
      "There are many routes to a Detroit bailout, however, and some go straight through Follyville. Here's how the feds could mishandle the automaker rescue package:" 12-08

  49. -12-05-08 Editorial: Grading the Automaker Bailout Plans (U.S. News)
      "There are many routes to a Detroit bailout, however, and some go straight through Follyville. Here's how the feds could mishandle the automaker rescue package:" 12-08

  50. -12-05-08 Taxpayers Already Lost a Third of Value on Bailout (MSNBC News)
      "Stock intended to eventually earn taxpayers a profit as part of the Bush administration's massive bank bailout has lost a third of its value — about $9 billion — in barely one month, according to an Associated Press analysis. Shares in virtually every bank that received federal money have remained below the prices the government negotiated." 12-08

  51. -12-16-08 Editorial: Madoff and the Global Economy (Business Week)
      "A judge ordered the U.S. operations of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities to be liquidated, as fresh details emerged of trading discrepancies that offer clues as to how he may have run the epic scam alleged by authorities."

      "WSJ reporter Amir Efrati says the Madoff scandal could go down as one of the biggest frauds in Wall Street history." 12-08

  52. -12-20-08 Automakers Get Bailout (MSNBC News)
      "Ailing U.S. automakers and their workers accepted huge concessions Friday, potentially including a partial nationalization, in return for a $17.4 billion federal rescue package meant to buy them time to survive." 12-08

  53. -12-20-08 Obama Completes His Cabinet Picks, Mostly Centrists (MSNBC News)
      "President-elect Barack Obama wrapped up his Cabinet appointments yesterday, meeting his ambitious holiday deadline by assembling a team full of outsize personalities with overlapping jurisdictions and nominees who are known more for pragmatism than for strong leanings on the issues they will oversee." 12-08

  54. -12-26-08 Shopping Figures Show Dismal Year (ABC News)
      " 'A difficult economic environment combined with difficult weather in the last few days made 2008 one of the most-challenging holiday seasons in decades,' said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis at MasterCard Advisors." 12-08

Papers
  1. Credit Card Traps (PBS.org)
      "Every credit card for a credit card company is like a lottery ticket. They're just waiting to see who's going to maybe stumble a little. Maybe get into trouble on a car loan. Maybe nothing at all except they just look vulnerable. They're just in the right zip code. They're just the right profile for people who won't be able to run any place else. And those are the ones you slam. Those are the ones you hit with the 29 percent interest rate, the 35 percent interest rate, the new fees. And then, because of course if you can't pay it, then you get hit with a fee for not paying or for paying late, for going over limit. And the game is afoot. With any luck at all from the credit card company's perspective, these people will become little annuities that will just keep generating profits for the credit card companies for months, for years, maybe forever." 12-08

  2. Debts - Consumer Debt (CBS News)
      "Consumer debt has more than doubled in the past 10 years to record levels, making it hard for many families to cope."

      "Consumer debt hit a record $1.98 trillion in October 2003, according to the most recent figures from the Federal Reserve. That debt — which includes credit cards and car loans, but not mortgages — translates to some $18,700 per U.S. household." 1-04

   
   


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