Despite fine-tuned sales pitch to Congress, Big 3 returning home empty-handed

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Congress loses interest in rescuing Big Three

Despite a fine-tuned sales pitch to Congress, the Big Three automakers are going back to Detroit empty-handed. It's becoming less and less likely that General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC will claim a $25-billion chunk of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package. Democrats nixed the idea of voting on the proposal — why help a flawed industry? — to the dismay of the White House and congressional Republicans who believe a quick bailout is the only way to save the cash-hemorrhaging car companies and the estimated 2.5 million jobs at stake should one of Detroit's Big Three break down. GM and Chrysler have said they may not make it to the end of the year. Congress could revisit the proposal in early December.

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Pension funds down $250 billion in 2008


A poverty briefing for Obama

As the economic downturn continues, the ranks of those who live below the poverty line are growing. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to tackle poverty by reducing taxes, increasing the minimum wage and introducing new social services and rural investment. But what is his best, first move?

Poverty facts:

• 37.3 million Americans lived in poverty in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
• Almost 700,000 children went hungry in America in 2007, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's more than 50 percent higher than the year before.
• Families from Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Arkansas were reported to have the least "food security."

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Congo rebels withdraw after meeting with U.N.


Asian markets drop 4-6%


China top owner of U.S. public debt

China now owns more U.S. public debt than any other nation — about one out of every 10 debt dollars — a reflection of its growing global economic influence. Blame wars, bailouts and stimulus plans — all big-ticket and unbudgeted expenses. With China buying our debt, it is, in effect, boosting the U.S. dollar relative to the yuan, making imports cheaper (and more attractive). The United States has imported five times as much as it has exported to China this year.

Top owners of U.S. public debt (as of Sept. 2008):
China $585 billion
Japan $573 billion
United Kingdom $338.4 billion
Caribbean Banking Centers* $185.3 billion
Oil-Exporting Nations** $182.2 billion
Brazil $141.9 billion

* Includes Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, British Virgin Islands
** Includes Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria

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Daschle picked, Clinton considered for Cabinet


Autoworkers say Congress plays favorites


Advertising firms face collapsing economy

When an economic downturn hits, everyone starts pinching pennies. Advertisers are keenly aware of this fact and quickly start altering their ads to emphasize value, fuel efficiency and economy over taste or style. Cindy Gallop, former chairman of the ad agency BBH now consultant, explains how advertising changes during a recession.


An HHS briefing for Obama


Bank bellwether Citigroup cuts jobs, loses value


Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

The museums of New York, Paris and London are filled with treasures from Egypt, Italy, Turkey and Greece. And museum directors in those countries are no longer content to sit back and allow their own ancient treasures to take up permanent residence in museums of other nations. The Takeaway is joined by Sharon Waxman, author of the book, “Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World


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