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bradentonian

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: November 25, 2008, 01:55:46 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081125/ap_on_bi_ge/financial_meltdown

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Government announces new loan programs

 AP – Chart shows consumer confidence for the past 13 months; WASHINGTON – The government, still struggling to manage a severe financial crisis, unveiled two new programs Tuesday that will provide $800 billion to try to help unfreeze the market for consumer debt from home mortgages to credit cards.

The announcements by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department represented the latest modifications to the largest government bailout in history, a program designed to keep the troubled financial system from dragging the country into a deep and prolonged recession.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has been criticized for continually revising the focus of the government's response to the crisis.

Paulson on Tuesday defended all the changes, saying that there was no one response adequate by itself to deal with what he termed a once- or twice-in-a-century financial crisis. He said that was why the government was having to keep modifying its response.

"It is naive for any of us to think that when you are dealing with a situaiton of this magnitude that a bill could be passed or a single action taken to make all the issues go away," Paulson told reporters at a briefing on the new programs.

To try to increase the availability of home loans to borrowers, the Federal Reserve said it will buy up to $100 billion in direct obligations from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. The Fed also will buy $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities, pools of mortgages that are bundled together and sold to investors.

The program on consumer debt will lend up to $200 billion to the holders of securities backed by various types of consumer loans. It will be supported by $20 billion of credit protection from the $700 billion bailout package that was enacted last month.

The government, while looking to reduce fear in the credit markets, is eager to see lenders like credit card companies resume more normal levels of lending to help stimulate the economy. Since September, when credit markets first froze, financial institutions have been hesitant to hand over money for fear they won't be repaid.

On Wall Street, the new government efforts provided an early lift to stocks, but the Dow Jones industrials were down about 10 points in midday trading.

Meanwhile, data released Tuesday provided further proof the country is almost certainly in the throes of a painful recession.

The Commerce Department's updated reading on the economy's performance showed gross domestic product shrank at a 0.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, weaker than the 0.3 percent rate of decline first estimated a month ago, and the worst showing since the third quarter of 2001.

GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the U.S. and is considered the best barometer of the country's economic fitness.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller national home price index released Tuesday tumbled a record 16.6 percent during the quarter from the same period a year ago. Prices are at levels not seen since the first quarter of 2004.

That, in turn, has made it harder for businesses and consumers to borrow.

Elsewhere, the New York-based Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index for November was 44.9, up from a revised 38.8 in October. Last month's reading was the lowest since the research group started tracking the index in 1967.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the November reading to slip to 37.9. Still, this month's figure hovers around levels not seen since December 1974, with Americans' views on the economy the gloomiest in decades as they grapple with massive layoffs, slumping home prices and dwindling retirement funds.

Consumers nationwide are reeling from job losses, tanking investment portfolios and sinking home values. They are expected to hunker down further in the coming months, making it likely the economy will continue to shrink through the rest of this year and into 2009, more than fulfilling a classic definition of a recession: two straight quarters of economic contraction.






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#1 : November 25, 2008, 04:36:48 PM

blah blah blah im so sick of hearing about this garbage. It's waaaay to late to fix anything

John Galt?

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#2 : November 25, 2008, 06:36:53 PM

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the Federal Reserve said it will buy up to $100 billion in direct obligations from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. The Fed also will buy $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities

OK, that's $100billion + $500 billion=$600 billion

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The program on consumer debt will lend up to $200 billion to the holders of securities backed by various types of consumer loans

Now wait, $100b + $500b+ $200b = $800 billion and they already used some of that $700 billion to bail out Citigroup, $300 billion from what I heard.

So how does $100b+$500b+$200b+$300b= Only $700 billion???

There's the problem, no one in government CAN ADD!


ufojoe

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#3 : November 25, 2008, 10:04:14 PM

Is New Jersey insolvent?

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

That's one of the guys I read when trying to get a feel for what's ahead with the economy.

He touches on the Nikkei, and how it relates to us, in this blog entry...



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