Daily Archives: September 29, 2008

NY Times: House Rejects Bailout Package, 228-205; Stocks Plunge

In a moment of historic drama in the Capitol and on Wall Street, the House of Representatives voted on Monday to reject a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry.

The vote against the measure was 228 to 205. Supporters vowed to try to bring the rescue package up for consideration again as soon as possible.

Stock markets plunged sharply at midday as it appeared that the measure would go down to defeat.

House leaders pushing for the package kept the voting period open for some 40 minutes past the allotted time, trying to convert “no” votes to “yes” votes by pointing to damage being done to the markets, but to no avail.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

President Bush will meet economic team to determine next steps, and contact Congressional leaders —

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Leadership plans second attempt to pass bill – NY Times

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

House has closed the vote; rejects financial rescue bill

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

In the House, the Bill Vote Fails to Pass (So Far)

The stock market is falling like a rock. Credit markets remain frozen.

Right now it is 206 yes,-227 no.

218 needed to pass. they are keeping the vote open and trying to persuade people who voted no on the floor to change their vote.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Notable and Quotable

How did they come up with 700 billion dollar figure for the bailout?

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Greg Kinnear Talks to NPR about his New Movie Flash of Genius

In “Flash of Genius,” Greg Kinnear plays Robert Kearns, a professor who invented intermittent windshield wipers. Based on a true story, Kearns claimed that Detroit automakers stole his idea and sued them in a long, drawn-out battle. Host Liane Hansen chats with Kinnear about his movie.

I caught this yesterday in the car and it made me really want to see the movie–listen and see what you think.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Pope Benedict XVI: Religious Liberty is a Win-Win Situation

When the Church is allowed the freedom to exercise its ministry, which includes the right to own the material goods it needs, everybody wins, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this Saturday upon receiving the credentials of the new Czech envoy to the Holy See, Pavel Vosalik. The audience took place at the Papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

“Hope is indeed the timeless message which the Church offers to every generation, and it prompts her to participate in the global task of forging bonds of peace and goodwill among all peoples,” the Holy Father said in his introduction.

“She does this in a special way by her diplomatic activity, through which she extols the dignity of persons as destined for a life of communion with God and with one another,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Religion and Ethics Weekly: What do religious voices have to say about the Economic Crisis?

[BOB] ABERNETHY: Father Martin, just step back just a minute and, quickly, what are the big lessons here about, maybe, things that go beyond just the bailout itself?

Fr. [JIM] MARTIN: Well, I think one thing is that, you know, these assets were highly valued because they were risky. In economics there’s a risk-return relationship, and I think one of the things we see that hasn’t been commented on is just that the CEOs sort of lost the sense of personal responsibility to their investors and, you know, to the people they were giving mortgages to. I mean, you know, you check out a lot of magazines in the past few months, they were talking about the coming collapse. It’s not, you know, it’s not as if people didn’t know this was going to happen, and yet the investment was still being made. So I think there’s a certain level, I agree with Jim Wallis, of personal responsibility that needs to be accepted by the CEOs. So in other words what I’m saying is it points out is that, you know, people really do have the responsibility for making conscientious decisions in the workplace.

[BOB] ABERNETHY: Jim Wallis, quickly.

Rev. [JIM] WALLIS: I think there’s an opportunity here for redemption. If our congregations begin to look at these questions — we ought to have adult Sunday school curriculum on money and how to be responsible in our economic lives. That could be a real opportunity for the pulpit to get involved here and start talking about what Christians and Jews and Muslims ought to do in responsible ways about how they live.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Evangelicals, Housing/Real Estate Market, Other Churches, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Stock Market, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Bess Twiston Davies–God on Mammon: theology for the credit crunch

It’s been a hell of a week for God and for Mammon. “The love of money is the root of all evil” Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York reminded City bankers on Wednesday, adding, rather presciently as it turned out, “We have all worshipped it. No one is guiltless”.

Indeed, less than 24 hours after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York had ripped into global capitalism, decrying the greed of “City robbers,” it emerged that the investments controlled by the Church itself were involved in short selling ”“ because its stock was lent to enable short selling to happen and because it owned shares in Man Group, a large hedge fund manager. As a morality tale, it was almost worthy of Chaucer’s Pardoner. Radix Malorum est Cupiditas: the Root of all Evil is Money he preaches in The Canterbury Tales, making, in the process, a tidy profit.

Yet for all the justified charges of hypocrisy, this weeks’ battles between Church and City have, if little else, turned the spotlight on God and the question of what, if anything, the world’s main faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity have to say about finance, debt and spirituality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Islam, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Stock Market

A graphic Portrayal of Purchases, Guarantees, Grants and Loans by the US Govt So Far

Check it out.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Citigroup to acquire banking operations of Wachovia

Under the agreement, Citigroup will absorb up to $42B of losses on a $312B pool of loans. The FDIC will absorb losses beyond that. Citigroup has granted the FDIC $12B in preferred stock and warrants to compensate the FDIC for bearing this risk. In consultation with the President, the Secretary of the Treasury on the recommendation of the Federal Reserve and FDIC determined that open bank assistance was necessary to avoid serious adverse effects on economic conditions and financial stability.

This is so typical of this nightmarish crisis we are in. Wachovia closed Friday at 10, and now it is pricing near 2. Because of the mess of what is really on these financial institutions balance sheets, no one knows what they are actually worth. Why would banks want to lend other banks when a bank like Wachovia can have this occur so quickly? How do they know that the bank they are lending to is not another Wachovia–KSH?

Update: A NY Times article is now here.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Stock Market

The Treasury chief will gain sweeping, even unparalleled power

Despite all the constraints Congress supposedly wrapped around him, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson is about to become the most powerful mortgage financier of the modern era — most likely of any era.

Buried beneath the 100-plus pages of detail that Paulson’s financial rescue plan has picked up during its 10-day journey from a Bush administration wish list to a bipartisan congressional compromise is the striking fact that the Treasury secretary got almost everything he sought — an eventual $700 billion and the authority to spend it largely as he sees fit.

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Update: An article from the New York Times on the same theme is here.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Gerard Baker: As the storm rages, only governments can save us

But we should be under no illusions that, even if it works as well as its authors hope (a large aspiration), it is already too late to avert a serious economic downturn ”” not just for the US, but for the world and, like the residents of New Orleans that fateful weekend three years ago, we seem ill-prepared for what is about to hit us.

I say this with great reluctance. It is no business of journalists (who, as someone once said, are like harlots, who wield power without responsibility) to go around scaring people. What’s more, until a few months ago I’ve been a relative optimist, convinced that we would get through this with not much worse than the kind of mild recession we’ve seen in the past 20 years. Now I think it might be time to panic.

The US is already in a recession that, even if financial conditions returned to normal today, would still be very unpleasant. In the quarter that ends tomorrow, it seems almost certain that US total output declined. Consumer spending and investment have been alarmingly weak in the past two months. On Friday we are quite likely to get another depressing report on the labour market, expected to show the ninth straight month of job declines in September. The housing market still seems to be getting worse, with sales falling faster than new construction, adding to the excess supply.

Britain’s economic activity is already declining, as is that of most of the big eurozone countries. So much for “decoupling”. We may have got into this predicament by different routes, but we’re all going the same way.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, Stock Market, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

A.N. Wilson: Where Rowan Williams meets Dostoevsky

Yet the Church of England has not collapsed – not quite, anyway. And the result of the Archbishop’s sabbatical in the United States is a splendid book on the wild, strange genius of Dostoevsky.

I was very glad to hear that he is quite unrepentant about having taken time off to write about the great Russian.

Rowan Williams says: “I think it is important that anyone in this sort of position does not become reactive, so your thoughts aren’t determined by what’s just come off the computer. And to keep that alive you need some sort of space.

“And I think it is some part of this job to try and keep stirring the cultural pot, even in a very limited way, and to say: when we are having all these debates about faith and atheism and science and so on, don’t let’s forget what lives of faith actually look like imaginatively, in ways that really serious writers and artists portray them, because if your view of religion is confined to a few fundamentalist platitudes, there’s no debate there. Yes, just to remind people that some imaginatively serious non-trivial, non-Pollyannaish writers have lived with this. Yes, it’s worth doing.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Europe, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Russia