Monday, September 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: House rejects bailout bill

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The House of Representatives a short while ago voted 228 to 205 against the bailout compromise worked out over the weekend. (It needed 218 votes to pass.). As CNN is reporting, "[a]bout 60% of Democrats voted for the measure, but less than a third of Republicans backed it."

Quick notes:

-- Kucinich was right.

-- Bush is apparently "very disappointed" with the result. Presumably much of his disappointment is directed at the renegades in his own party.

-- Boehner: "If I didn't think we were on the brink of an economic disaster it would be the easiest thing to say no to this."

-- Frank: "If we defeat this bill today, it will be a very bad day for the financial sector of the American economy and the people who will feel the pain are not the top bankers and top corporate executives but average Americans."

-- It's certainly a bad day for the markets. As of 2:55 pm, the Dow is down 552.68 (or 4.95%) and the Nasdaq is down 144.08 (or 6.70%).

-- I still think a bailout bill in some form -- if not this one, after some arm-twisting, then this one with some alterations to appease both sides and to make Congress appear to be more united than it really is -- will be passed sooner rather than later. The leadership of both parties is behind it -- the Democratic leaders more than their Republican counterparts -- and there will be increasing pressure on Congress to do something. (And, right now, this bill is all they've got.) Not least because the markets are tumbling.

-- And tumbling... It's now 3:00 pm. The Dow is down 552.04, the Nasdaq 147.73. At 3:02 pm, the S&P 500 is down 76.26 (or 6.29%).

-- Up here in Toronto, at 3:03 pm, our leading index, the TSX Composite, is down 853.38 (or 7.04%).

Stay tuned.

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  • Don't be surprised to see the following scenario play out - war hero Grampy Johnny McBush rides in on his white horse to save the day. The twelve republicans that voted against the bailout will switch their votes the next time the bill comes to the floor, and swear on Sarah Palin's glasses that it was Johnny's love of country that convinced them to switch their vote.

    By Blogger Bob's Blog, at 3:17 PM  

  • Interesting...

    It's possible, I suppose, and it would fit with McCain's "Hail Mary" campaign strategy. The problem is that the bill is deeply unpopular on the right (as well as on the left), as well as with much of the American electorate. Were he to do this -- that is, to take credit for securing the passing of the bill (even an amended one), he'd be signalling his support for it in a way he hasn't done yet. Up to now, after all, he's been hedging.

    Obviously, though, he needs to do something, something else depserate (like the Palin pick and "suspending" his campaign). He's falling further behind in the polls and, with the veep debate on Thursday, this could be another really bad week for him.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 3:48 PM  

  • A bad week for him and for others.

    Many of the well-tanned boaters I hang out with seem a bit paler than usual today - even before the Dow closed down 778 points. It's a good time to buy a used yacht.

    Many and perhaps most see this Republican sponsored plan as only a continuation of the policies that got us into this mess - I can't blame them.

    By blaming Obama and the Democrats for the failure of a bill that few wanted, McCain may be doing him a favor, but blame and Palin are all he has and neither is going to help any of us.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 4:38 PM  

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