Americans are likely to see another presidential election so close that very few votes will make the difference. Meantime, new machines, new rules and a massive number of newly registered voters could lead to trouble in many states, and both parties are warning about dirty tricks. We look at what could turn out to be an electoral nightmare. Also, an update on Congressional action in the financial bailout, and the transformation of Wall Street is now complete.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hit yesterday's TV talk shows and President Bush increased the pressure on Congress today saying that "the whole world is watching" progress on his $700 billion bailout of the financial system. But some key Democrats are not in such a hurry, calling for help for Main Street as well as Wall Street. Peter Gosselin is national economics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and author of High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families.
Peter Gosselin, National Economics Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
First Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch acknowledged their model of doing business was just too risky. Last night, the last two independent banks on Wall Street asked the Federal Reserve to change their status to bank-holding companies. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will be able to take deposits, but will be subject to much greater regulation as well. Nomi Prins, a former analyst with Leman, Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns, is author of Other People's Money: The Corporate Mugging of America.
With the presidential election just weeks away, both parties have lined up thousands of lawyers. They're preparing for a massive crush of new voters, new voting machines and new rules designed to avoid the kinds of controversies that are still raging over the outcomes in 2000 and 2004. But in battleground states, including Florida and Ohio, disputes are already under way. This year's election is so close there could be a tie in the Electoral College. At best, the massive registration of new voters will mean long lines, equipment failures and confusion that could keep thousands from voting. Meantime, Republicans warn about voter fraud and Democrats worry that the young, poor and elderly could be systematically disenfranchised. We hear how trying to make things better could be making them worse.
Doug Chapin, Election Expert, ElectionLine.org
John Fund, Columnist for the Wall Street Journal
Michael Slater, Executive Director, Project Vote
Allen Raymond, former Republican political consultant