Tag Archives: finance

House Republican holdouts UPDATE: $51 million in earmarks for Biden?

Wow.

Looks like a deal was never in the offing, Pelosi is the one who needed John McCain in Washington most of all, and Obama has stayed in Washington too long to say they didn’t really need him.

Gory details, and implications for tonight’s debate, below the break.

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My idea! No fair! My idea!

OK, let me get this straight.  John McCain announces the temporary suspension of his campaign to return to Washington and focus on the financial crisis, and Barack Obama responds by…insisting it was his idea first??

The cynicism in Sen. McCain’s announcement is pretty obvious, but is Sen. Obama really trying to take credit for McCain’s cynicism?

After McCain’s suspension announcement, the Obama campaign scrambled to the press to claim indignantly that Obama called McCain this morning to suggest a “joint statement” of some kind (Obama said the same thing at his press conference following McCain’s; they’re not specific on the matter).  McCain says Obama did call, but didn’t reach him, as he was meeting with economic advisors and members of Congress all day.  Moreover, he just told Katie Couric (no link, I’m watching it right now) that “this is not the time for ‘statements,’ this is the time to act.”

In any case, McCain has clearly taken it a step further and said that their jobs take precedence over their job aspirations, and as such they should both suspend campaigning until at least next week.  Obama disagrees, saying the debate Friday should go ahead as planned and if the Senate leadership needs him they are free to call him.

More twists and turns, and a little analysis about the short- and medium-term options open to each candidate, below the break.

UPDATE: The aftermath!  Lots of reaction, including from the Senate Democratic leadership (likewise, below the break).

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“Um, I have a note from the Minority Leader?”

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), awaiting trial on corruption charges, has asked a federal judge if it’s OK if he skips out on the proceedings from time to time this week.

His reason?  He says that the trial, in which a jury will decide whether he lied about $250,000 in home construction and other gifts courtesy of an oil company, makes it difficult for him to be a good Senator.

The gobsmacking details, and how it might reflect on Sarah Palin, below the break.

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Changing market rules in mid-game…UPDATE: The larger question

One of my favorite free-market economists, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, writes that it was a “terrible idea” for SEC Chairman Chris Cox to ban short selling in an effort to keep the stock market from sinking even lower.

Short selling, or trading stocks in such a manner that you are effectively betting that the share price will decline, provides a balance to traders who (all too often) put too much faith in corporations’ own friendly reporters and media releases.  In Kudlow’s words, short sellers “keep the market honest,” preventing stock prices from inflating past their realistic worth.

In a broader sense, even a relative economic dilettante like myself knows that banning short selling, even for a little while, is an improper government intrusion onto the market and a general betrayal of free-market principles.  Once, back when Chairman Cox was Congressman Cox, he was a staunch defender of those principles, a solid Friedmanite.  It’s becoming apparent why John McCain was thundering for Cox’s ouster yesterday.

Click the link above and read Kudlow’s post, including his assessment of what Cox should have done.  An UPDATE addressing a bigger question not addressed above follows below the break.

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