Economic Trouble in an Election Year
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The Federal Reserve made a surprise cut in the interest rate today, but the markets dropped anyway, and there's more talk about a recession. Is it coming? Is it already here? Is the stimulus package really about the economy or politics? Also, Jose Padilla is sentenced to 17 years, and there's no Hollywood blockbuster, but the show must go on. We hear about this year's Oscars.
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Jose Padilla Gets 17 Years in Prison ()
Jose Padilla once was accused of plotting with al-Qaeda to blow up a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the US. But his three-month-long trial for terrorism conspiracy never mentioned those charges. Today in Miami, he was sentenced to 17 years and four months, about half what the government requested. Jay Weaver covers federal courts for the Miami Herald.
- Jay Weaver: Federal Courts Reporter, Miami Herald
Economic Trouble in an Election Year ()
For the first time since the markets reopened after September 11, the Federal Reserve today stunned Wall Street by making an emergency cut in interest rates. In 2001, it was a half a percentage point; today it was three-quarters, a week earlier than expected, and bigger than any such cut since 1982. The Dow plunged anyway, then went back up in supposedly hard-hit sectors, including home-repair and high finance. Overall, the markets were down. Is a recession around the corner or already here? The White House and Congress are working up a "fiscal stimulus package." Will it make things better or worse? What's the role of election year politics?
- Tom Petruno: Business Reporter, Los Angeles Times
- Gus Faucher: Director of Macroeconomics, Moody'sEconomy.com
- Stephen Moore: Member of the Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
- Jared Bernstein: Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute, @econjared
- David Lightman: Reporter, McClatchy Newspapers, @LightmanDavid
There Will Be Oscars ()
Last year, the Oscars were dominated by mainstream hits, but this year it's a different story. The pictures with the most nominations did not do well at the box office, although critics liked them. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood lead this year's race with eight nominations apiece. Atonement and Michael Clayton each has seven. Ella Taylor is a film critic for the LA Weekly.
- Ella Taylor: Film Critic, LA Weekly
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