After a failure that rocked Wall Street and exchange traded funds (ETFs) earlier this week, the $700 billion bailout package seems closer to reality.
The Senate approved the bill, and now it’s off to the House, report Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Charles Babington for the Associated Press. Leaders in the House are working quickly to convert opponents of the bill and get it passed by Friday. Both presidential candidates, as well as vice presidential pick Sen. Joe Biden, flew back to Washington to vote “aye.”
Ulli Niemann for Ulli, The Wall Street Bully addresses the question many have been asking: Why $700 billion? Was it based on careful analysis of the markets? A team of economists gathering in secret and crunching the numbers? No. The answer is: nowhere, really. A Treasury spokesman told Forbes this week that “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”
The world’s markets are mixed today as fears about a global slowdown persist, dampening any relief over the Senate’s vote last night, reports Louise Watt for the Associated Press. Britain and France rose, while Germany, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan fell. It’s perceived as a signal that this bailout isn’t a done deal.
The European Central Bank also left its interest rate unchanged at 4.25% for the 15-nation zone, as inflation worries took precendence over worries about a credit meltdown.
Investors appear to be taking shelter in bonds early this morning, as some of the few ETFs in positive territory midday focus on them, including:
- SPDR Lehman Short-Term Municipal Bond (SHM)
- Vanguard Short-Term Bond (BSV)
- Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index (EDV)
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