Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coordinated Worldwide Interest Rate Cuts and Comments on the Debate

At 5:00 A.M. this morning, it was looking bleak, dire, worse than yesterday in the world's stock markets.  Tokyo and Hong Kong were down 9% and the Dow futures were  down 300 points.  A few minutes ago the U.S. stock futures turned positive when the central banks around the world lowered interest rates by 1/2 point at the same time. MarketWatch  Even though the politicians are having trouble coordinating a unified response to what is clearly a global problem, the central banks are starting to respond to what is unquestionably the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.  It was critical that the ECB reverse its asinine inflation fighting tight money policy.  Great Britain announced plans to inject up to 87 billion into its troubled banks.  The one that seems to be teetering the most now is the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which is the UK's second largest bank.  RBS, Fortis and Santander were involved in the purchase ABN AMRO at the more than top dollar price of 72 billion. Telegraph

As to the debate last night, I thought that both candidates were just regurgitating parts of their stump speeches.  Obama wins the style points and McCain hurt himself by refusing to shake Obama's hand at the end of the debate and by referring to him as "that one".  He also looked old particularly when he started to walk around the stage and many people will not like his condescending attitude toward the Beanpole and his smug I know more than everyone demeanor.  I would like to highlight a fact check on McCain's claim that Obama was one of Congress' all time leaders in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie.  Fannie and Freddie do not give contributions.  It would be correct to say however that Obama was second, not third as claimed last night by McCain, in recent times (not for all time) in contributions from employees of Fannie and Freddie.  So, a correct statement would be something like this from McCain:   "Senator Obama received $126,349 in campaign contributions from employees of Fannie and Freddie which places him second on the list of recent contributions whereas I am the leader in receiving campaign contributions from their lobbyists and board of directors receiving 169,000.  I would hasten to add, to show that I am a straight talker, that my campaign chairman and most of my close associates have a long history of lobbying for Fannie and Freddie so why I am even bringing this up?" PolitiFact

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