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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout/Rescue Plan Vote Moves to Senate

Intrade Bailout contract:
US Congress to approve a government bailout of banks on/before 31 Oct 2008

Senate to vote on rescue plan Wednesday — The bailout package adds new provisions - including raising the FDIC insurance cap. Democratic sources told CNN that they expect bipartisan support.

The Senate plans to vote on the $700 billion bank rescue plan Wednesday evening - two days after the House failed to pass it.

The bill adds new provisions - including raising the FDIC insurance cap from $100,000 to $250,000 - and will be attached to an existing revenue bill that the House also rejected Monday, according to several Democratic leadership aides.

The vote is scheduled for after sundown, in observance of the Jewish holiday. Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden confirmed that they would be present for the vote...
Doug Mataconis / Below The Beltway: Senate To Vote On Bailout Bill Tomorrow
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Senate to vote on bailout Wednesday — In a surprising development, Senate leaders Tuesday night announced a Wednesday evening vote on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan rejected Monday in the House of Representatives. — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) …
PoliPundit.com: Senate Vote
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
A Political Meltdown — A police officer patrols an empty hall …
Ali / Think Progress:
Glenn Beck, Jonah Goldberg fantasize about violently cutting open …
Melissa McEwan / Shakesville: Is this what they mean...
"Mark to Market" Accounting Rule Debate

Frank Ahrens / Washington Post:
SEC Clarification May Help Markets — Some economists are attributing much of the current financial crisis to something as mundane-seeming as accounting. — The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have just made an announcement that, dry as it sounds …
Steve Bainbridge / StephenBainbridge.com: SEC Announcement re Mark to Market
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:
SEC Office of the Chief Accountant and FASB Staff Clarifications on Fair Value Accounting — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 2008-234 — Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2008 — The current environment has made questions surrounding the determination of fair value particularly challenging for preparers …
Justin Fox / The Curious Capitalist: What part of mark-to-market don't you understand?
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
SEC Loosens Accounting Rule Banks Blame for Crisis
Judith Burns / Wall Street Journal:
Auditors Resist Effort To Change Mark-to-Market
Gingrich: Suspend Mark to Market accounting ruleNewt Gingrich / Forbes:
Suspend Mark-To-Market Now! — While Congress and the White House consider next steps, the Treasury and its fellow regulators should follow their own counsel and take without delay the one regulatory action within their discretion that can help immediately to calm markets and dramatically reduce the taxpayer risk in any necessary government intervention: suspend mark-to-market.

Chief economist Brian S. Wesbury and his colleague Bob Stein at First Trust Portfolios of Chicago estimate the impact of the "mark-to-market" accounting rule on the current crisis as follows:
"It is true that the root of this crisis is bad mortgage loans, but probably 70% of the real crisis that we face today is caused by mark-to-market accounting in an illiquid market. What's most fascinating is that the Treasury is selling its plan as a way to put a bottom in mortgage pool prices, tipping its hat to the problem of mark-to-market accounting without acknowledging it. It is a real shame that there is so little discussion of this reality."
Usha Rodrigues / Conglomerate: Accountants to the rescue? Mark to market?
The Crypt blog / Politico:
House GOP leadership, conservative media, The Crypt mocked by Rush -- Rush Limbaugh opened his show today by piling on top of House Republican leadership for claiming that a crucial number of their members voted against the bailout package because of a partisan speech that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave before the roll call.

“C’mon guys. Can ya grow up?” he said. “There were a whole lot of reasons for House Republicans to vote against this thing yesterday.” ...

Rush Limbaugh:
God Bless the House Republicans — BEGIN TRANSCRIPT — RUSH: I want to dedicate today's Dow Jones Industrial Average, it's at about 269, up at the moment, to the Republicans in the House of Representatives for their boldness yesterday. Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, Rush Limbaugh …
Satyam / Think Progress:
Rep. McCotter: ‘Terrible mistake’ …
Ryan Grim / The Crypt's Blogs:
House GOP leadership, conservative media, The Crypt mocked by Rush
Matt Lewis / Townhall.com: Rush Limbaugh vs. Politico ...
The Wall of Shame for Bob Steel

Wall of Shame for Bob SteelMad Money with James Cramer / CNBC:
Wall of Shame: Wachovia CEO Bob Steel -- Just two weeks ago, Wachovia CEO Bob Steel told Mad Money viewers that out of $500 billion in loans on the bank’s books, only $10 billion were bad. Today, Citigroup bought Wachovia “for a pittance,” Cramer said, because the actual total was $42 billion, and the FDIC was about to seize Wachovia...

More than anything, Cramer was mad at himself for letting his viewers down. He trusted Steel, who he’s known as a solid financier for 25 years, and he urged viewers to do the same. Cramer should have been more critical, more skeptical – especially during a time like this – but he wasn’t.

“I let you down,” Cramer said.

But what else went wrong? How could Steel have been in a position where he could come on the show and tout his, more or less, healthy bundle of loans? ...
Liestoppers: Duke University puts up a Wall of Silence

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