It appears that <a href="http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081117/D94GUIK80.html">the auto bailout</a> is stalled for now, as congressional leadership and the Bush administration have come to loggerheads over providing $25 to $50 billion in loans to General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler.
I found it interesting that, as of December 2007 (the most recent date for which disclosures are available), just 27 of the 535 members of Congress owned stock in at least one of the big three automakers, according to <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org">Open Secrets</a>. They disclosed holdings worth ...Continue reading
In late July this year, two North Carolina state legislators and a pharmaceutical industry executive set up a political non-profit to run ads focusing on the present financial crisis ahead of the November election. The nonprofit has spent more than $600,000 to produce the ads, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Real Time has been following various ads using our new "Follow the 527s" widget, available on the right side of the site.
The nonprofit, RightChange.com, Inc., was set up by a pair Republican lawmakers, state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell ...!--[endif]-->!>!--[if>!-->!--[endif]-->!>!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if> Continue reading
Note that Mr. Paulson's proposal was not intended to solve the teaser-rate mortgage problem, either now or in the future. In the transactions that created the teaser-rate mortgages in the first place, both parties made bad decisions " the lender and the borrower. Mr. Paulson's proposal was not intended to help either. One of its unavoidable side effects, however, was to relieve lenders ...Continue reading
When I read accounts like this, I'm not surprised that Congress has such low approval ratings:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pressed for passage, with the alarming news that one of the country's premier insurance companies was about to go bankrupt if the crisis was not quickly resolved.
"We don't have a lot of leeway on time," Reid told reporters in the Capitol. "One of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company -- a major insurance company -- one with a name that everyone knows that's on the verge of going bankrupt ...Continue reading
But in many situations the right course of action is not always obvious. So here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to help us navigate the shades of gray:
The first shade of gray?
Is the action legal?
In fairness, the preceding sentence tells employees, "Perhaps most importantly, our Code not only requires us to comply with the law, but it challenges us to promote ethical conduct in all ...Continue reading
The Hill reports that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are dissolving their formidable lobbying operations (when the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight was investigating their shady accounting practices, Fannie Mae was spending $8 million a year on lobbyists, some of whom were working with Congress to derail the investigation).
The Hill reports,
When the two companies were taken over by the government, they said they would end lobbying practices that had made them a powerful force in Washington.
Still, the lost contracts could hit K Street hard.
Overall, 37 outside firms filed second-quarter reports for Fannie and Freddie, according ...Continue reading
Fannie Mae announced <a href="http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/310522/000129993308004533/0001299933-08-004533.txt">today</a> that it's gotten more subpoenas from the SEC and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:
<blockquote>On September 26, 2008, Fannie Mae received notice of ongoing federal government investigations and inquiries into Fannie Mae by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") regarding certain accounting, disclosure and corporate governance matters. In connection with those investigations and inquiries, Fannie Mae received a Grand Jury subpoena ...Continue reading
Mark Tapscott of the D.C. Examiner posts a comparison of what was in the original plan submitted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and what congressional negotiators have arrived at now.
It will be interesting to see both the final language and the conference report. I wonder if the bill will end up including things like taxpayer funding for peanut warehouses to bring reluctant members on board.
Continuing the theme of last night's post (and of several prior posts -- just scroll down), we're taking a look at some of the key players in the financial bailout negotiations, looking at their career contributions from and personal interest in the industry. Thanks to Open Secrets, the Web site of the Center for Responsive Politics, all this information is easily accessible online.
Over the course of his political career, minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, has raised $2,933,009 from political action committees, employees and their immediate family members of organizations in the finance, insurance and real estate ...Continue reading