Rushing to rescue Citigroup, the government agreed to shoulder hundreds of billions of possible losses at the stricken bank and to plow a fresh $20 billion into the company.
Regulators hope the dramatic action will bolster badly shaken confidence in the once mighty banking giant as well as the nation's financial system, a goal that so far has been elusive despite a flurry of government interventions to battle the worst global crisis since the 1930s.
A global economy in free fall, banking giants like Citigroup tetering on the precipice of collapse, auto giants like General Motors facing insolvency, faltering wars on two fronts: No President-elect in modern times has faced so much crisis as he approached inauguration day.
The question of whether or not Barack Obama is up to the job is no longer relevant. He has the job and the question now is what he will, or can, do with it. Obama says his top priority is the economy but he will face equally daunting problems on almost every front.Read More
Barack Obama's apparent decision to ask Eric Holder to be his attorney general is not without peril for a young president-elect who has repeatedly promised to clean up the scandal polluted, partisan atmosphere of Washington.
Senate Republicans will lack the strength to deny confirmation to Holder, the former deputy U.S. attorney general under Bill Clinton. But they certainly can make his nomination their first big challenge of the new administration and in the process give Obama some very bad moments by resurrecting one of the more questionable last minute actions by an outgoing president in recent history.Read More
Auto executives flew into Washington in private jets, and before long there was congressional stalemate on what they wanted, not just because of the unfortunate symbolism, but because widespread discussion had successfully blunted sharp assertions.
Despite what some contended, it became ever less certain that the $25 billion federal bailout sought by the executives would save the auto industry, that a declaration of bankruptcy would kill it or that industry demise would wound the country grievously.Read More