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A bailout of the Big Three automakers now seems likely, but why is Detroit being asked for more concessions than Wall Street? We look at the double standard for federal bailouts and ask whether a real industrial policy would make things better or worse. Also, Pakistan has moved against the mastermind of the group that attacked Mumbai, and more trouble for newspapers as the Tribune syndicate declares bankruptcy and the New York Times considers mortgaging its office building.

Banner image: Auto workers and retirees, who are part of a caravan from several Midwest states to Congress, march on Capitol Hill December 8, 2008 in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Making News Pakistan Moves against Mumbai Attacker Group 5 MIN, 59 SEC

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, reportedly wants to plead guilty. A hearing's being held at Guantánamo Bay. Meantime, it's reported that Pakistan has arrested the mastermind of the recent attacks on Mumbai. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid is author, most recently, of Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist

Descent into Chaos

Ahmed Rashid

Main Topic Bailouts, Perferences and Industrial Policy 35 MIN, 37 SEC

The White House says if Democrats can get their act together it's "very likely" the Big Three automakers will get massive federal assistance. But auto workers are on a caravan from the Midwest to Washington, complaining they have to make more concessions than Wall Street financiers. The Bank of America, which got $25 billion in taxpayer bailout funds, cut off credit to their employer; the auto workers got three days notice of termination, when federal law requires 60 days. They've become a symbol of the complaint that the bailout process favors the white-collar financial sector at the expense of blue-collar workers. Is Wall Street more important than other sectors of the economy? Does the US need a policy for manufacturing, too, like Barack Obama's jobs-creating stimulus plan?

Harold Meyerson, Editor, The American Prospect; and Columnist (@haroldmeyerson)
Philip Levy, American Enterprise Institute
Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing (@ScottPaulAAM)
Daniel Ikenson, Associate Director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

Reporter's Notebook Tribune Declares Bankruptcy; NY Times Borrows against Its Building 7 MIN, 7 SEC

The Tribune Company, with major newspapers in Chicago and Los Angeles, has filed for bankruptcy, and the New York Times may have to mortgage its property in New York City. Both actions belie the struggles of an increasingly troubled industry. A 20-year veteran of the defunct Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Ken Doctor is an analyst for Outsell and Content Bridges, which focus on the transformation of the news media from print to digital.

Ken Doctor, Newsonomics (@kdoctor)

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