Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bailout Deal is a rescue package

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Congressional leaders and the Bush administration agreed Sunday on the main elements of a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry, paving the way for swift enactment of the largest government intervention in markets since the Great Depression. Negotiators sought to iron out the final shape of the legislation and it still had to be reviewed by House Republicans, whose fierce opposition to a federal rescue nearly torpedoed an emerging bipartisan pact late in the week. Officials in both parties said they hoped for a House vote Monday. "We've still got more to do to finalize it, but I think we're there," said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who participated in the talks at the Capitol. The measure would create a program that lets the government spend unprecedented sums of public money to prop up tottering financial institutions by buying their sagging mortgage-based investments and other devalued assets. A breakthrough came when Democrats agreed to incorporate a GOP demand — letting the government insure some bad home loans rather than buy them — designed to limit the amount of federal money used in the rescue. Another important bargain, vital to attracting support from centrist Democrats and Republicans who are fiscal hawks, would require that financial firms repay the government for any losses. A leading proposal would impose a 2 percent tax on the companies if, after five years, the program had not made back what it spent. "This is the bottom line: If we do not do this, the trauma, the chaos and the disruption to everyday Americans' lives will be overwhelming, and that's a price we can't afford to risk paying," Sen. Judd Gregg, the chief Senate Republican in the talks, told The Associated Press on Sunday. "I do think we'll be able to pass it, and it will be a bipartisan vote." Congressional leaders, who announced the tentative deal after marathon negotiations that ended early Sunday, hope to have a House vote Monday; a Senate vote would come later. The presidential nominees came behind the outlines of the bailout. "This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "The option of doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option." Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., sought credit for taxpayer safeguards added to the initial proposal from the Bush administration. "I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions," he said. Under the plan, the government would purchase mortgage-backed securities and other bad debts held by banks and other investors. The money should help troubled lenders make new loans and keep credit lines open. The government would later try to sell the discounted loan packages at the best possible price. The legislation would place "reasonable" limits on severance packages for executives of companies that benefit from the rescue plan, said a senior administration official who was authorized to speak only on background. The government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share in financial companies' future profits. To help struggling homeowners, the plan would require the government to try renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers' monthly payments so they can keep their homes. "Nobody got everything they wanted," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. He predicted it would pass, though not by a large majority. Gregg, R-N.H., said he thinks taxpayers will come out as financial winners. "I don't think we're going to lose money, myself. We may, it's possible, but I doubt it in the long run," he said. Frank appeared on C-SPAN, Obama was on CBS' "Face the Nation," while McCain spoke on "This Week" on ABC.

Inside the Economic Rescue Plan: One Giant Bailout ...
... that the White House is pushing for a so-called “ Rescue Package ... government ends up losing or gaining money on the deal ... Is there no middle of the road approach between bail out or ...
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U.S. bailout deal breaks down after GOP revolts : Home : News ...
U.S. bailout deal breaks down after GOP revolts. A Republican revoltstalled talks Thursday for the massive multi-billion-dollar rescue package for Wall Street that had appeared ...
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White House hopes for bailout deal by Monday
... began on the largest bailout since the Great Depression. The rescue plan ... The government must bail out the ... But, she added, “We cannot deal with this unless this bailout ...
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Wrangling holds up US rescue
... failing to reach full agreement on the Bush administration’s financial rescue package ... Earlier in the day, hopes for a bail-out deal rose after senior politicians from both ...
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Bailout Talks Disintegrate Into Verbal Brawl; Fate Uncertain
Fate Uncertain, The fate of the Bush administration's $700 billon bailout package ... McCain announced he was suspending his campaign activities to deal with the rescue package.
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Congress expected to pass rescue package
WASHINGTON -- Key lawmakers who struck a post-midnight deal on a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry predicted Sunday it would pass Congress, putting in place the largest government intervention in markets since the Great Depression ...
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Source: Chicago Sun-Times
NewsDateTime: 19 minutes ago

Deal reached on financial markets bailout
WASHINGTON - After a breakthrough on a $700 billion Wall Street bailout, lawmakers and Bush administration now must settle the final details on a rescue intended to keep credit flowing and avert a crippling recession.
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Source: MSNBC
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago

Obama, McCain inclined to support bailout deal
Congress expected to pass rescue package Deal reached on financial markets bailout Lessons from a Mexican bailout: ... WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain indicated Sunday they ...
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Source: CNBC
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago

Negotiators need to settle final details of rescue
... and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., right, announce a tentative deal ... WASHINGTON -- After a breakthrough on a $700 billion Wall Street bailout, lawmakers and Bush administration now must settle the final details on a rescue intended to ...
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Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

Obama gives tentative support to financial bailout
Rank-and-file members of the House of Representatives and Senate are expected to be briefed on details of the rescue package ... U.S. reaches outline for bailout deal | Video U.S. Democrats seek Wall Street tax in bailout plan Buffett's "time bomb" goes ...
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Source: Reuters
NewsDateTime: 40 minutes ago

The details of the bailout deal

From Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- Sept. 28, 2008

Significant bipartisan work has built consensus around dramatic improvements to the original Bush-Paulson plan to stabilize American financial markets -- including cutting in half the Administration's initial request for $700 billion and requiring Congressional review for any future commitment of taxpayers' funds. If the government loses money, the financial industry will pay back the taxpayers.
3 Phases of a Financial Rescue with Strong Taxpayer Protections
# Reinvest in the troubled financial markets … to stabilize our economy and insulate Main Street from Wall Street
# Reimburse the taxpayer … through ownership of shares and appreciation in the value of purchased assets
# Reform business-as-usual on Wall Street … strong Congressional oversight and no golden parachutes
Democrats have insisted from day one on substantial changes to make the Bush-Paulson plan acceptable -- protecting American taxpayers and Main Street -- and these elements will be included in the legislation
Protection for taxpayers, ensuring THEY share IN ANY profits
# Cuts the payment of $700 billion in half and conditions future payments on Congressional review
# Gives taxpayers an ownership stake and profit-making opportunities with participating companies
# Puts taxpayers first in line to recover assets if participating company fails
# Guarantees taxpayers are repaid in full -- if other protections have not actually produced a profit
# Allows the government to purchase troubled assets from pension plans, local governments, and small banks that serve low- and middle-income families
Limits on excessive compensation for CEOs and executives
New restrictions on CEO and executive compensation for participating companies:
# No multi-million dollar golden parachutes
# Limits CEO compensation that encourages unnecessary risk-taking
# Recovers bonuses paid based on promised gains that later turn out to be false or inaccurate
Strong independent oversight and transparency
Four separate independent oversight entities or processes to protect the taxpayer
# A strong oversight board appointed by bipartisan leaders of Congress
# A GAO presence at Treasury to oversee the program and conduct audits to ensure strong internal controls, and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse
# An independent Inspector General to monitor the Treasury Secretary's decisions
Transparency -- requiring posting of transactions online -- to help jumpstart private sector demand
# Meaningful judicial review of the Treasury Secretary's actions
Help to prevent home foreclosures crippling the American economy
# The government can use its power as the owner of mortgages and mortgage backed securities to facilitate loan modifications (such as, reduced principal or interest rate, lengthened time to pay back the mortgage) to help reduce the 2 million projected foreclosures in the next year
# Extends provision (passed earlier in this Congress) to stop tax liability on mortgage foreclosures
# Helps save small businesses that need credit by aiding small community banks hurt by the mortgage crisis—allowing these banks to deduct losses from investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stocks

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