FROM Steven Davidoff
Can Barack Obama Follow the Money? At Barack Obama's request, President Bush will ask Congress before he leaves office for the second half of the $700 billion financial bailout . But the first half was so badly spent that Congress may not go along.
Can Barack Obama Follow the Money? Lawmakers in both parties are outraged that the Bush Administration lost track of $350 billion, the first half of last year's massive financial bailout . Today, at Barack Obama's request, President Bush agreed to ask for the second half, so Obama will have it as soon as he takes office next week. We hear how banks refused to account for their use of taxpayer money, while there was no effort to prevent mortgage foreclosures. What's Obama saying to assure Congress he can do better?
Bailout Bill Goes to the White House Congress reconsidered what's now called the "economic rescue" plan amid dismal news about employment and California's need for a big federal loan. Today the bailout passed by 263 to 171. Saying that passage of the bill won't get us out of the recession, Republican leader John Boehner admitted that "it'll be a whole lot rougher ride if we don't pass this bill." Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, acknowledged that in "my own state of California, officials -- including the governor -- are urgently calling for federal legislation to avoid economic catastrophe." Will the bill resolve the credit crisis? Will taxpayers make money on a $700 billion investment? We ask those questions today.
AIG's Global Reach, What's Next? Bear Stearns was bailed out , along with Freddie and Fannie , while Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail . But with a trillion dollars in assets, American International Group turns out to be big enough to threaten the global economy, moving the Federal Reserved to agree to what the New York Times calls "the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history." The insurance company does business all over the world, insuring cars, houses, retirement plans and companies, along with a lot of exotic financial instruments based on risky mortgages. Why does AIG qualify for $85 billion in American taxpayers' money? Will unprecedented government intervention ease the private financial crisis? Will other troubled companies be standing in line?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.