Democrats say the new housing bill will help the housing market and the economy as a whole, but President Bush will sign reluctantly and against the wishes of many Republicans. Will lenders agree to restructure loans on homes facing foreclosure? Will backing Freddie and Fannie put taxpayers at risk? Also, a female suicide bomber kills dozens in Iraq, and Denver really wanted the Democratic National Convention, but there's a lot the city didn't count on--like a presidential candidate who can pull an audience of 80,000 people.
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the midst of a four-year low in violence, Iraq today was struck by four suicide bombers. Twenty-five were killed and 178 wounded by a suicide bomber in Kirkuk. In Baghdad, three women blew themselves up, killing a total of 32 and wounding 102. Ned Parker is reporting from Baghdad for the Los Angeles Times.
Many Republicans predicted worse catastrophes to come, but the Senate joined the House this weekend and passed a bill designed to rescue the faltering housing market. President Bush has promised to sign it, holding his nose because Treasury Secretary Paulson convinced him the economy can't do without it. Despite the promise of homeowner relief in an election year, 149 House Republicans voted "no." Forty-five went along. Is the bill a reward for risky investors at taxpayers' expense? Will backing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars? Did de-regulation go too far? Would re-regulation make things better or worse? Is the US looking at a full-scale recession?
Toby Eckert, Reporter, Congressional Quarterly
Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics (@dismalscientist)
Brian Carney, Member of the Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
Christopher Thornberg, Beacon Economics
The City of Denver worked hard to attract this year's Democratic convention, hoping to spotlight the new international airport, the new wing on the art museum and the light rail system that was key to reviving a faded downtown. Now there's a shortage of money, and the Denver daisies may not bloom on time. Nevertheless, the Democrats, the press and thousands of hangers on will arrive in Denver the last week of August. Nicholas Riccardi is Denver Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.
Nicholas Riccardi, Reporter, Los Angeles Times