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December 19th, 2007
05:50 PM ET

Rescuing American banks?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some may call it a troubling sign: foreign governments coming to the rescue of American banks.

Just today, the no. 2 U.S. investment bank, Morgan Stanley, posted its first quarterly loss ever, and announced a $5 billion cash injection from a Chinese state-run investment fund. That represents less than 10% of the company's total shares.

Morgan Stanley says the purpose was to raise capital along with improving its ties to the world's fastest growing economy. They said the China fund would be a passive investor, with no management role and no say in naming a member to the board of directors.

But, this isn't the first time we're seeing this scenario play out. China also invested heavily in Bear Stearns and the private equity group Blackstone. Rival Citigroup announced a similar move last month, selling a $7.5 billion stake to the Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi in an attempt to raise capital. Abu Dhabi also invested in the politically connected takeover firm The Carlyle Group.

U.S. banks have been wrestling with issues like the subprime mortgage crisis which have forced many of them to write off billions of dollars due to bad loans.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when foreign governments are having to come to the rescue of American banks?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
December 19th, 2007
02:15 PM ET

How to win in Iowa?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With two weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, the race couldn't be much tighter on the Democratic side.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests 33% of likely caucus goers support Barack Obama, 29% back Hillary Clinton and 20% are behind John Edwards. The margin of error is 4 points.

The poll also shows Obama gaining ground on Clinton on the question of which Democrat is most electable, which had been one of Clinton's early advantages. However, when it comes to which candidate has the best experience to be president, Clinton still has a significant lead.

In Iowa, it could also come down to which campaign does a better job of motivating voters to come out in the dead of winter and spend hours attending these caucuses. The poll found more of Obama's supporters say they're certain to participate than Clinton's.

But, Clinton's backers are the most committed to voting for her and the most enthusiastic. 70% of her supporters say they'll definitely caucus for her in two weeks, while John Edwards' and Obama's supporters are more likely to say they could change their minds.

Here’s my question to you: What does Hillary Clinton have to do in the last two weeks to win the Iowa caucuses?

To watch the Cafferty File Video click here

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections
December 19th, 2007
02:13 PM ET

Approving Iraq $?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the Los Angeles Times rightly sums it up, the Democrats' "Yearlong campaign to bring the war in Iraq to an end concluded with a whimper yesterday as the Senate failed again to pass a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from the conflict."

The House still has to approve this revised spending bill, with unrestricted war funds for Iraq and Afghanistan, but it seems likely to pass there with strong Republican support.

No, it's not your imagination. As recently as last month, House and Senate Democrats vowed not to give President Bush any more money for the war in Iraq without withdrawal timelines. But the president threatened to veto the massive spending bill needed to keep the government running unless he got the war money. And the Democrats, lacking any backbone whatsoever, of course immediately surrendered. These people make the French look courageous.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold offered the failed amendment that would have required the withdrawal of most U.S. troops within 9 months. He remained defiant, saying that nothing is more important to him or his constituents than "ending this disastrous war."

But Republicans insisted that they were doing the right thing for the troops, and that Washington can't ignore the military progress in Iraq.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress have refused to pass funding for the war in Iraq without some timeline for troop withdrawals?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Congress • Iraq