Monday, September 29, 2008

And the people went surfing

I'm trying to get a list of who voted for and against the bailout bill in the house, but any attempt to get to any page at is resulting in a "service unavailable" message.

Although I can't get the specifics, the generalities are known:

The vote was at 205 for vs. 228 against when the official voting time for the plan expired. House leaders had held the vote open in an attempt to twist some arms, but CNBC's John Harwood is reporting no re-vote on the plan will occur, at least not today.

The Dow slid as much as 670 points, or 6% to 10,473 in immediate reaction to the news. As of 2:30 p.m. EDT, the index was down about 534 points, or 4.8%, while the S&P was off 5.9% and the Nasdaq by 6.5% as Google fell below $400 for the first time in two years and Apple tumbled 16% following analyst downgrades.

Update: In rejecting the proposal, House members effectively called the bluff of Henry "we need to enact this bill quickly and cleanly" Paulson and Ben "grave threats to financial stability" Bernanke about the risks of inaction. House Republicans also rebuked President Bush, whose 7:30 a.m. ET address Monday morning was designed to shore up support for the "bipartisan" agreement that came out this weekend's marathon negotiations.

The bill was opposed by both left and right. reports Dennis Kucinich's reaction:

Although the measure was backed by the leaders in both political parties, it was defeated in a 205 to 228 vote. The plan had support from 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans, and was opposed by 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans.

These Ohioans voted yes: Deborah Pryce, Ralph Regula, Tim Ryan, Zack Space, Charlie Wilson, David Hobson and John Boehner.

These Ohioans voted no: Dennis Kucinich, Steve LaTourette, Betty Sutton, Marcy Kaptur, Steve Chabot, Jim Jordan, Bob Latta, Pat Tiberi, Mike Turner and Jean Schmidt....

Kucinich, a Cleveland Democrat, said the bill wouldn't keep more people in their homes because it wouldn't give federal authorities any ability to change mortgage terms to avoid foreclosures.

"If we had a plan that focuses on saving families' homes, it would actually do more for the economy than this bill," Kucinich said "What's good for Wall Street is good for Main Street? Not today."

There was also Republican opposition:

"We can't allow the American taxpayer to become the insurance policy for financial decisions that didn't quite turn out as planned," said Gresham Barrett, a Republican congressman from South Carolina. "I fear that this legislation erodes that accountability and the freedom that comes with it."

But what of the rest of the world? The Manila Times is not concerned:

The Philippines can shield itself from external shocks, as its economy remains sound despite the global financial crisis.

Dennis Arroyo, a director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), on Monday told a Senate consultative meeting that the country is still within sight of macroeconomic and fiscal targets, particularly on gross domestic product (GDP), budget deficit and inflation.

“We still have headroom if the crisis worsens. There are shock absorbers,” Arroyo said.

But Canadian blogger Garth Turner doesn't see a rosy picture:

The immediate consequences are unknown, but it would appear this development will accelerate the financial meltdown currently taking place. Given current events, consumers might well expect higher borrowing costs, just as homeowners face stiffer mortgage costs and new home buyers encounter a cold shoulder from bankers. In our modern world, credit is the lifeblood of commerce, and the failure of this bailout is potentially monumental.

So, are there consequences for Canada? For our election? For the government?

The coming few days will tell, of course, but the fact remains we are vulnerable. As detailed in the post below, the current administration has not taken defining steps to safeguard Canadians.

The middle class is at risk. Will it notice in time?

P.S. Just tried again. Still can't get to it.

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