Bush wants to spend $700,000,000,000 of our tax dollars


WASHINGTON - President Bush said Wednesday that lawmakers risk a cascade of wiped-out retirement savings, rising home foreclosures, lost jobs and closed businesses if they fail to act on a massive financial rescue plan. "Our entire economy is in danger," he said.


"Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold," Bush said in a 12-minute prime-time address delivered from the White House East Room that he hoped would help rescue his tough-sell bailout package. "Ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession."

Said Bush: "We must not let this happen."

The unprecedented $700 billion bailout, which the Bush administration asked Congress last weekend to approve before it adjourns, is meeting with deep skepticism, especially from conservatives in Bush's own Republican Party who are revolting at the high price tag and massive private-sector intervention by government. Though there is general agreement that something must be done to address the spiraling economic problems, Bush has been forced to accept changes almost daily, based on demands from the right and left.

Seeking to explain himself to conservatives, Bush stressed he was reluctant to put taxpayer money on the line to help businesses that had made bad decisions and that the rescue is not aimed at saving individual companies. He tried to address some of the major complaints from Democrats by promising that CEOs of failed companies won't be rewarded, while warning he would draw the line at regulations he determined would hamper economic growth.

"With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, I faced a choice: to step in with dramatic government action or to stand back and allow the irresponsible actions by some to undermine the financial security of all," Bush said.

The president turned himself into an economics professor for much of the address, tracing the origins of the problem back a decade.

But while generally acknowledging risky and poorly thought-out financial decisions at many levels of society, Bush never assigned blame to any specific entity, such as his administration, the quasi-independent mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or the Wall Street firms that built rising profits on increasingly speculative mortgage-backed securities. Instead, he spoke in terms of investment banks that "found themselves saddled with" the toxic assets the government is now proposing to buy and banks that "found themselves" with questionable balance sheets.

Intensive, personal lobbying of lawmakers is not usually Bush's style as president, unlike some predecessors. He does not often make calls or twist arms on behalf of a legislative priority.

But with the nation facing the biggest financial meltdown in decades, Bush took the unusual step of asking Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, one of whom will inherit the financial mess in four months, and key congressional leaders of both parties to a White House meeting on Thursday to work on a compromise.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the senator would attend the meeting scheduled for the afternoon, and senior McCain advisers said he would, too. The plans of the other invitees were unknown. The White House said that the idea for the joint meeting was McCain's and that aides went about setting it up after Bush and McCain spoke Wednesday afternoon.

In another move welcome at the White House, Obama and McCain issued a joint statement using their own dire language to urge lawmakers to act. The two candidates — bitterly fighting each other for the White House but coming together over this issue — said the situation offers a chance for politicians to prove Washington's worth.

"The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail," they said. "This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe."

However, the Oval Office rivals were not putting politics aside entirely. McCain asked Obama to agree to delay their first debate, scheduled for Friday, while Obama said it should go ahead.

White House and administration officials have warned repeatedly in recent days of a coming "financial calamity."

But that has not closed the deal, which for many recalls previous warnings of grave threats from Bush — such as before the Iraq war — that did not materialize. So Bush's goal with his speech, his first prime-time address in 377 days, was to frame the debate in layman's terms to show the depths of the crisis, explain how it affects the people's daily lives and inspire the public to demand action from Washington.

He said that more banks could fail, the stock market could plummet and erase retirement accounts, businesses could find it hard to get credit and be forced to close, wiping out jobs for millions of Americans.

He ended on a positive note, predicting lawmakers would "rise to the occasion" and that the nation's economy will overcome "a moment of great challenge."

With so many crises hitting the United States at once, the presidential race has taken a back seat and so has Bush's involvement in politics. Bush canceled a campaign trip to Florida on Wednesday to deal with the problem, the third time in a week that he has scrapped his attendance at out-of-town fundraisers, either because of the market turmoil or Hurricane Ike.

The economic crisis also is almost certain to overshadow the rest of Bush's four months left in office and could hugely impact his legacy. It has been assumed that the long-term view of Bush's presidency was to be shaped largely by Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Now, the dire economic problems and the aftermath of the government's attempted solution will certainly be added to that list.


Onimi 15 years ago
it sucks and is so not fair that we have to bail them out. but i would rather get it over with as well. =(
ROzbeans 15 years ago
The bail out bill.

by Mark Silva

With the House's second and successful vote on a $700-billion federal rescue of the nation's financial markets today, the economic challenge facing the next Congress and president is only starting to reveal its dimensions on Capitol Hill.
The House vote today -- 263-171 -- following a bipartisan 74-25 vote of the Senate earlier in the week, will set in motion an unprecedented federal action aimed at freeing a freezing credit market for businesses and consumers alike. It authorizes the Treasury to start buying as much as $700 billion in bad mortgage-related debts from banks and other financial institutions.
It also offers taxpayers more than $100 billion in relief, exempting millions from the reach of the Alternative Minimum Tax and offering tax breaks for specific businesses as well. In addition, it raises the limit on federal insurance for depositors in banks and credit unions from $100,000 to $250,000.
It was these added incentives and an unrelenting sense of urgency that turned a reluctant House around - after defeating the first version of the bailout on Monday by a vote of 228-205. Some also cited the personal intervention of presidential candidate Barack Obama, who had personally called on fellow Democrats in the House, such as Rep. John Lewis of Georgia to support the measure.
Yet, on a day in which the federal government also has reported the largest monthly job loss in five years - in a year of steady job losses that has pushed the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent - lawmakers acknowledge that the federal bailout of the financial markets is not the end of the economic task they face.
Democratic congressional leaders say the next Congress and president will be compelled to follow up with not only tougher regulation of the banking and financial institutions that spawned a meltdown in mortgage lending next year, but also more "economic stimulus'' measures aimed at creating new jobs.
"This is only the first step,'' said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill. chairman of the House Democratic Conference. "While we address the balance sheets of banks, the next steps must address the checkbooks of families, and the challenges they face.
"The middle class is suffering,'' Emanuel said during the House debate, promising "an agenda that puts the middle class at the heart of its economic strategy, unlike the last seven years.... We must strengthen the economy.''
The White House is asking for quick delivery of the bill for the president's signing. A Bush White House which had long held that the economy was "sound'' now acknowledges the many storm warnings that have surrounded the debate over a frozen credit market - citing today's job-loss report.
"Obviously, it's a very disappointing report,'' White House spokesman Tony Fratto said today. "We're dealing with a number of shocks to our economy and have for some time....
"No one should be over-promising what this legislation will do,'' Fratto said. "This legislation is to fix a problem in our financial markets. It's not sold as giving a boost to our economy... It's averting a crisis.
"This bill will have an impact in... stabilizing the markets... If it works as we hopes it will, credit will begin flowing again.''
it's not only the sweeteners in this bill, but also the urgency of an economic crisis foreseen by the Federal Reserve and Treasury that prompted swift action today.
"The economy is at risk,'' House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said today. "Average Americans will be badly hurt if we continue to see the economy go downhill.''
Even as the House approved the $700-billion rescue and more than $100-billion in tax relief attached to it, some voiced their continuing reluctance about the measure. The measure also lifts the ceiling on the accumulated national debt, which now exceeds $10 trillion, from $10.6 trillion to $11.3 trillion.
"I myself am very skeptical of this package,'' said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) "But I've ultimately concluded that this bill is a necessary evil.
"Why cant we let the market sort itself out this time?'' Dreier asked the House. "Because the market didn't create this mess.... Government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae made this mess possible... Government regulators failed.''
"There's medicine that's bitter that you don't want to take but you need,'' Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), quoting someone whom he cited as a great philosopher, Mick Jagger: "Sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes you get what you need... this time, the American economy is going to get what it needs.''
Yet still, some chafed at the tax breaks sprinkled into the measure to make it more palatable, including breaks for auto racing and Puerto Rican rum importers.
"$192 million for rum,'' complained Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), calling on the House to take another look at the measure and "do it right... We can save half a trillion dollars and we can cut the pork. The pork doesn't belong in this bill.''

President Bush, who pressed the Congress to enact a plan first crafted by his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, and went on national television and radio to campaign for it, is poised to sign the result of the package that Paulson first rolled out in a three-page outline for the bailout. That three pages grew to more than 100 in the House and more than 400 in the ultimate Senate package which the House approved today.
""I hate it," but "inaction to me is a greater danger to our country than this bill," said Rep. Zach Wamp, (R-Tenn.) one of the 133 House Republicans who allied with 95 Democrats on Monday in scuttling the bailout bill in its first version.
"Today, I'm going to cast a red, white and blue collar vote with my hand over my heart for my country,'' Wamp told the House. "I don't like it at all. As a matter of fact, I hate it... but we don't have time to rewrite this bill.''
Both of the presidential candidates - Democrat Obama and Republican John McCain - were personally calling on members of the House to support the new plan. Lewis told fellow Democrats that he had decided to support it after speaking with Obama.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Obama's encouragement of his support suggested to him that this is not the end of the issue. "I've got a man who I'm hoping will be president who's saying that's he's going to do the very things that I want done," Cummings said. "It makes me feel a lot better."
The addition of some $110 billion in tax breaks and other "sweeteners'' made it more palatable to others.
"Monday what we had was a bailout for Wall Street firms and not much relief for taxpayers and hard-hit families," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told The Associated Press. "Now we have an economic rescue package."
ROzbeans 15 years ago

(CNN) -- A 90-year-old Akron, Ohio, woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis Friday.

Fannie Mae foreclosed on the Akron, Ohio, home of Addie Polk, 90, after acquiring the mortgage in 2007.

Addie Polk is being treated at Akron General Medical Center after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon, her city councilman said.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, mentioned Polk on the House floor Friday during debate over the latest economic rescue proposal.
"This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world," Kucinich said after telling her story. "This bill fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, are facing the loss of their home. This bill will take care of Wall Street, and the market may go up for a few days, but democracy is going downhill."
Neighbor Robert Dillon used a ladder to enter a second-story window of Polk's home after he and the deputies heard bangs inside, Dillon told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio.
"I just thought she may have fell or couldn't get up or something," he told WEWS. "I didn't know [she had shot herself] until I got in there. And even when I got there, she was breathing, but she wasn't saying anything to me. I knew she needed help then."
Dillon said he saw blood when he put his hand on Polk's shoulder.

So yeah, it passed.
ROzbeans 15 years ago
Fannie Mae said today it will set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home. Addie Polk of Akron, Ohio, became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis when she was hospitalized after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon.

Cool, all you have to do is try and commit suicide and they'll forgive your loan. Too bad it's not retroactive for the other people who have done this already. Boy, that's morbid.
Darsa 15 years ago
Well, that was BEFORE the big injection of enabling that the government felt compelled to administer to the big companies today; now probably it'll be harder than just trying to commit suicide
Runyan 15 years ago
Gylius is a fucking genius.
Vulash 15 years ago
I think its a bit short sighted and rushed in implementation. I would like to have seen a different approach, but I have views about the current state of things that extend beyond the financial, and this simply contributes to other things that cause other problems.
Mylec 15 years ago
Yeah, things are already looking up now that the bailout has passed. All hail the enlightened economic 'experts' who applauded this bill. After all, it is economic geniuses that go out into the world and take high level positions in the financial sector, so they definitely know what they are doing...wait...

U.S. stocks plunged this morning after markets around the globe tumbled and financial fears intensified.

At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 404 points to 9,920. The Nasdaq Composite Index had plummeted 96 points to 1,851, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index had shed 47 points to 1,051.

The Dow is down 29% from its record high set on Oct. 9, 2007; it fell below 10,000 for the first time since October 2004. The Nasdaq today touched its lowest level since Sept. 8, 2004, and the S&P hit its lowest level since Nov. 21, 2003.

Outside the US, markets tumbled as well. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell 4.3% to 10,473 Monday, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 5% to 16,804. London's FTSE 100 Index was down 6.6% to 4,644 today, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index, which tracks European stocks, had lost 6.7% to 244.

Get free, real-time stock quotes on MSN Money

Light, sweet crude oil was down $3.87 to $90.01 a barrel this morning. Oil is down about 4.5% so far this year.

The meltdown has been ugly in the U.S., but it's looking worse for Europe.

European leaders gathered in Paris over the weekend to address the expanding global credit crisis, but no comprehensive European rescue plan was announced.

"It will probably be a rough week for global investors as they realize the credit crisis has a long way to play out," Frederic Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson, told Bloomberg News. "U.S. action was an absolutely essential first step, and global intervention is needed."

The European leaders are united in their commitment to finding a way out of the mess. Some are blaming the U.S. for the problems. Observers are worried that Europe, lacking a strong central bank, is not in a strong position to deal with a credit crisis. On Friday, President Bush signed into law the $700 billion rescue package for the U.S. financial markets.

The euro fell against the dollar this morning.

"The U.S. dollar continues to crush the euro as it trades at a 14-month high," Oliver Stevens, head of dealing at IG Markets, told The Wall Street Journal. "Continued turmoil in the European banking sector over the weekend and a lack of a coordinated response from European governments highlights the problems facing the euro."

British finance minister Alistair Darling this morning said he will meet with the EU finance ministers tomorrow to try to navigate the crisis. All options are on the table, Darling said.

Last week, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told Bloomberg that the European Union could not copy the $700 billion U.S. rescue plan because it doesn't have a federal budget.

Fed pumps billions into system
The Federal Reserve this morning announced several steps to help the financial markets.

The Fed doubled its term auction facility, an emergency loan program, to $300 billion, effective immediately. The total amount of the program could total $900 billion by the end of the year, the Fed said.

Announced in December, the term auction facility is part of an effort to pump cash into the markets. The Fed has expanded the program since then, as the financial mess has gotten worse. Banks can bid for the rate at which they will borrow funds from the Fed at these auctions.

"The Federal Reserve stands ready to take additional measures as necessary to foster liquid money-market conditions," the Fed said in a statement.

The central bank also said it will begin paying interest on cash reserves that banks hold at the Fed.

The credit market has remained tight, despite passage of the bailout plan. Banks continue to hoard cash to meet their own funding needs, wary of lending either to other banks or to businesses and individuals. The three-month London interbank offer rate (Libor) -- the rate banks charge each other for overnight loans -- remained at an eight-month high today.

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Investors are turning to safe investments, putting money into Treasury bills, despite the fall of the T-bill rate to 0.48% from 0.5% on Friday.

"Hearing the printing presses roll at the Fed might seem to present an inflation problem, but that is the wrong bet to make right now," Miller, Tabak chief bond strategist Tony Crescenzi wrote in a note to clients this morning. "The bet to make is on a rise in the prices of financial assets, sticking with the highest quality equities, agency securities, agency mortgage-backed securities, and even corporate bonds. The emerging markets will also have their comeback, as the spreading of market-capitalism is a secular idea and has a ways to go. Europe looks last in this one, because it can't have a uniform banking solution (not as easy as in the U.S.), and because it is lagging behind the U.S. in the economic cycle. The ECB has also been a bit stubborn on rates."

Lehman's Fuld blames rumors for collapse
The former chief executive officer of Lehman Bros. is testifying before Congress today about the company's bankruptcy.

"Ultimately what happened to Lehman Brothers was caused by a lack of confidence," Dick Fuld said in prepared testimony. "This was not a lack of confidence in just Lehman Brothers, but part of what has been called a storm of fear enveloping the entire investment-banking field and our financial institutions generally."

Fuld defended his handling of the crisis, saying that, at the time, he believed that the worst of the financial meltdown was behind them. "With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that I and many others were wrong," Fuld said.

Lehman, once the fourth-biggest investment bank in the country, suffered from its huge exposure to subprime mortgages, causing it to file for bankruptcy on Sept. 15. The company had been 158 years old.

Battle brews for Wachovia
The U.S. government may be getting involved in the fight for Wachovia (WB, news, msgs).Stock Charts (Year)

Wells Fargo

The Federal Reserve wants Wells Fargo (WFC, news, msgs) and Citigroup (C, news, msgs) to make nice, settling their dispute over who will acquire Wachovia by sharing the prize, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Fed's plan would have Wells and Citi split up Wachovia's branches, as well as divvy up its assets.

Wachovia probably won't like that answer. On Sunday, a New York State appeals court overturned an order blocking Wells Fargo from moving forward with its $15.1 billion offer to buy the bank.

Wells Fargo made its bid for Wachovia on Friday, just days after Citigroup offered to buy Wachovia's banking operations for $2.2 billion. Citigroup this morning told CNBC that it is considering making a bid for all of Wachovia.

Shares of Wachovia slipped 31 cents, or 5%, to $5.90 in late morning trading. Wells Fargo shares were down $1, or 2.9%, to $33.56, and Citigroup stock was down $1.67, or 9.1%, to $16.68.

"Wachovia continues to believe its agreement with Wells Fargo, which involves no government assistance, is proper and valid. The agreement is in the best interests of shareholders, employees, creditors and retirees as well as the American taxpayers and it imposes no risk" to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Wachovia said in a statement -- adding that Citigroup "is always free to make a superior offer."

Germany backs deposits
Germany became the latest European country to guarantee all private bank accounts, covering about $785 billion in private savings and checking accounts.

The German government also said it was backing a $69 billion rescue plan for Hypo Real Estate Holding, Germany's second-biggest property lender. Germany's Finance Ministry and private banks agreed to give Hypo an additional $21 billion line of credit, adding to a previous $48 billion plan that had been negotiated.

Hypo teetered on the brink of collapse Saturday, when the company said a consortium of financial institutions backed out of a rescue deal.

"We will not allow the distress of one financial institution to distress the entire system," Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement Sunday. "For that reason, we are working hard to secure Hypo Real Estate."

Hypo sought help from the German government in September, when it started to feel pressure from the credit crunch that began in the U.S.

Ireland and Greece made similar moves last week.

Italy's UniCredit, its biggest bank by assets, announced plans over the weekend to raise up to $9 billion in capital, a move to help ease investors' concerns.

And French banking giant BNP Paribas late Sunday agreed to buy 75% of Fortis Bank Belgium from the Belgian government for $11.3 billion. BNP Paribas will also buy 66% of Fortis' Luxembourg bank.

Fortis was bailed out last week, with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg together taking a 49% stake in the European bank. But that rescue did little to ease jitters about the company's health and lasted only a few days before clients pulled their money out and lenders dried up.

What to watch this week
Investors will get some insight into what the Federal Reserve was thinking in September when minutes from the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting are released Tuesday morning.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will also speak Tuesday about the state of the economy and the credit markets.

A report on Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors is likely to show that the pending home sales index declined 1.1% in August.

The NAR's index fell 3.2% in July. It measures sales contract activity on homes for sale.

Andy Rosenbaum contributed to this report.
Mylec 15 years ago
Market is really coming along now. As I approach 6 figure losses in my 401k in the last month and a half, I'm afk to find a fucking ledge...
ROzbeans 15 years ago
Yeah our broker for our 401k and Catherine's college fund said in an email, 'You might want to call me to talk about your funds.'

/hangs head
Gylius 15 years ago
Before I make another point. When did anyone start taking anything I said seriously? I fucking spent my entire time in Triadica trying to ruing Lgweed's life. My name was Gylius Isbeingboxedforpoints for a while. I would volunteer Lgweed to pull bosses for us because he would routinely die and the Cyber crew would have a good laugh. How could you ever think that when I say, "grow a pair" I'm actually being serious? You guys used to take what I said in jest.

Second, when I said smart people, I didn't mean me. I'm not smart, I'm just good at deciphering information from other smart people. I meant economists, people like Warren Buffet. World class intellects, who were 98% behind this.

Third, no the bailout didn't fix it yet. The point of the bailout was to hit that shit immediately when the industry took a nose dive. They messed up in a couple places. Worst being that 75% of the people voting no on the first edition of the bailout, voted no simply because they are re-running for office soon and thought it would hampen their chances at winning. Cunts, all of them.

Fourth, who knows what's going to happen. I'm not sure right now. After the election will be a good time to take a gauge of where the markets are going to go. Just be happy you're alive, this is fascinating time in our history!
ROzbeans 15 years ago
Off topic (again) Gylius - you assume the people left on TAC know you. They don't. Aside from me, Vulash, maybe kelefane, Mizen and maybe two or three others, the regular members don't know you from dick. So just keep that in mind when you flex your rather muscley brain around us middle aged women you secretly want to bed, electronically or otherwise.

Continue. =)
Mylec 15 years ago
1. I remember who Gilius is.
2. I don't take what he says personally.
3. I simply disagree with him on the whole bailout bill.
4. I realize that it will take time for the plans in the bill to be implemented.
5. Regardless of how long it will take to get implemented, much of the market is based on perception. My point was that if this bailout was percieved to be such a great idea, why did markets slide so badly when it finally was passed and continues to slide every day? I agree we are living in historic times, I just would rather not do so when it means that over half my 401k has now disappeared in the last 6 weeks when I'm 40 years old and used to plan on retiring at 59 1/2. IMO (and, no, I'm not an economist) even if things stopped dropping now (although the market will open this morning down another couple hundred as the world markets went to shit last night) we are most likely looking at 3+ years for a recovery. Personally, I would rather live through boring times and retire comfortably than be broke saying "Yeah, I was right in the middle of it all in '08 when we bailed out all the morons and went broke!".
Verity 15 years ago
Am I the only one who finds it ever so slightly ironic that the world markets & such didn't start going haywire & all crazy until *AFTER* the "bailout" bill was passed?
Den 15 years ago
Nope, I found that interesting as well Verity.
ROzbeans 15 years ago
I wasn't surprised the world continued to end.
Temprah 15 years ago
Right now is just sheer panic, knee jerk reactions and general oh crap selling until all the involved companies find out how much they are going to owe for the hedge funds that will be called due with all these failures and losses. It'll probably be a few weeks before the "the sky is falling" mentality eases. The problem is.. will we even have a market left at that point? *sigh*
Mylec 15 years ago
The bottom line is we are just going to have to ride it out. There is no sector that is doing well at this point (although precious metals isn't too bad in hindsight, which is typical at times like this. I just wish my natural resource fund was heavier into precious metals and lighter on petroleum atm). The only thing worse than taking big hits to your portfolio in a down market is to miss the bit increases down the road by pulling out of stocks now. Fidelity has some good numbers on the difference in your portfolio in the pass if you would have missed the 10 biggest gain days of the past 20 years or so. If I'm right and we recover in about 3 years it just means I will have to delay retirement to 63 (provided, of course, that I go back to meeting or exceeding my future gains which I was doing very well at until now).
Gylius 15 years ago
Off topic (again) Gylius - you assume the people left on TAC know you. They don't. Aside from me, Vulash, maybe kelefane, Mizen and maybe two or three others, the regular members don't know you from dick. So just keep that in mind when you flex your rather muscley brain around us middle aged women you secretly want to bed, electronically or otherwise.

Continue. =)

Calm down baby, there's enough Gylius to go around. It's true though, I really do love older women. Or women my age. Or maybe just women?

Anyway, Temprah is close to being right as well. It's chain reaction selling that is going on right now. People are scared the market is going to go down, so they sell. Thus, the market goes down. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. In case you weren't watching, the markets were still going down before the bailout passed. Would it have gone down as much if it passed the first time? I doubt it to be honest, but I can't prove it either way.

At the end of the day the most important aspect of this ordeal is that our society can continue to give out loans (the credit markets). There is absolutely no way our country could run without people being able to get loans to finance everything. I'm not sure how many of you are rich enough to buy everything without financing, but I'm sure as hell not. I bought a new car at 23 through financing with limited-to-no credit, I'm thankful for those markets. Now would I have been able to do that without an operational credit market? Not likely. Or maybe I could with something stupid like 20% interest, I dunno.

If this were just about companies failing, and being bought out by other companies, I'd be fine with the situation. It's not though. It's about keeping our economy (and the world's economy) from a total lock up.