September 23rd, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 9/23/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

Don’t forget to watch Erica Hill’s webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST

And take a look at Anderson and Erica on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Wondering why some comments are posted while others aren’t? Here’s a post that may help: LINK TO COMMENTS POST

We’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
September 23rd, 2008
09:22 PM ET

ON THE RADAR: Wednesday

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

The future of financial services…and some other stories on our radar:

ON THE TRAIL: Sen. Obama has an afternoon rally in Dunedin, FL.  Sen. McCain is in New York City where he’ll make an appearance on "The Late Show" with David Letterman and will meet with U2 lead singer Bono.  Gov. Palin will join McCain when he meets with Bono and is planning on meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as well.  Sen. Biden is giving a speech on foreign policy in Cincinnati and then has a rally in Jeffersonville, IN.

RAW POLITICS: The first presidential debate is just days away and both candidates will be bringing two very different styles to the stage.  Sen. Barack Obama can be eloquent but sometimes too circular in making his points.  Sen. John McCain can get straight to the point but can come across as too blunt or sharp at times.  Which one will be more effective on Friday night?  Candy Crowley has that report.   

U.S. ECONOMIC OUTLOOK HEARING: The Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing on the U.S. economic outlook. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to testify. 

FUTURE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES HEARING: The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing entitled “The Future of Financial Services: Exploring Solutions for the Market Crisis.” Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are scheduled to testify.

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 23rd, 2008
09:07 PM ET

Evening Buzz: FBI Investigating Meltdown

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

"Hello, AIG, this is the FBI." That sort of phone call could happen or may have already taken place. Tonight, sources tell CNN the FBI is investigating America's largest insurer, along with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers. The question: Are any of them guilty of mortgage fraud?

An FBI spokesman tells CNN 26 firms are currently under investigation. And, earlier this month, FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress that 1,400 individual real estate lenders, brokers and appraisers were under investigation in addition to two dozen corporations.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the $700 billion bailout proposal for financial firms faced with bad mortgages is still under heavy debate - from both sides of the aisle.

"I don't think a single call to my office about his proposal has been positive", said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. While, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky said, "It is financial socialism and it's un-American".

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson doesn't see it that way. He told members of Congress today the bailout money is needed now, and with few strings attached. "I am convinced that his bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternatives", Paulson said.

What are your thoughts on the bailout – deal or no deal?

We're also looking at the so-called "Road to Nowhere". Yes, it's tied to the dead "Bridge to Nowhere" that was supposed to link Ketchikan, Alaska to its airport on Gravina Island. The three-mile road was still built at a cost of $8 million a mile, paid for by your tax dollars. Could Gov. Sarah Palin stopped the road project? We'll tell you what we discovered.

And, wait till see you see the connections Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden have to Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere."

All that and more tonight on 360 at 10pm ET.
Hope you can join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
September 23rd, 2008
07:50 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Movin’ right along

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

I drink a lot of water. I like it au natural, as they say – a little hydrogen, a dash of oxygen, hold the fillers…and that includes rocket fuel. The EPA, however, doesn’t see it the same way. The technical name for this additive is perchlorate, a little gem that’s been found to interfere with thyroid function and also harbors developmental risks, especially for babies and fetuses. So why not rid your drinking water of the rocket fuel? The EPA concluded a perchorlate clean-up wouldn’t be a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."


During last night’s webcast, there was a lot of talk about David Blaine’s latest stunt  in Central Park. Some of you weren’t too happy with the… let’s say “lack of support” for the planned 60 hour upside-down hang-fest. Today, some interesting developments about Mr Blaine’s time in the Park, including whether the claims about his stunt were truly on the up and up. Ah, the intrigue! Tune in for the latest tonight on the show.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
September 23rd, 2008
07:44 PM ET

McCain, Obama and Paulson answer the 3 a.m. call

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.mccain.obama.paulsontriple.jpg]
Leslie Sanchez | Bio
AC360° Contributor
Republican Strategist

Many assumed that the "3 a.m. call" would be an international threat coming in the middle of the night.

But over the last two weeks, it's come instead in broad daylight, in the middle of the trading day, as our nation has been suddenly thrust into what may be the most perilous time for our economy since the Crash of 1929. Just since the kids went back to school, we've seen our most venerable financial institutions collapse like castles in the sand. Our savings, our college funds and retirements, the homes we hope to keep, the hopes we all have for ourselves and our children, are very much in the balance. In days, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG have fallen like a house of cards. We've witnessed the biggest market collapse since 9/11 or the Great Depression, only to see a dramatic rebound once it looked like the government would step in with a massive and unprecedented bailout that could – for better or worse – change the nature of American capitalism forever.

It has been a month of surprises in a campaign year of surprises, and it provides us a rare opportunity to observe the responses of the men and women who would lead us in a moment of real crisis (one that will be, we certainly hope, anyway, worse than anything they will actually face in office).


Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
September 23rd, 2008
07:00 PM ET

Give Main Street a fair shake

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/paulson.9.23.jpg caption="Treasury Secretary Paulson testified before the banking committee Tuesday."]Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor, Publisher, The Nation

The Administration has put a corporate-led bailout on the table with the threat that Congress pass it as is or face a worldwide economic catastrophe. We've seen this kind of shock and awe, do it our way or else, fear mongering before. Yes, action is needed, but that action must be smart, just and effective. Action must ensure that this taxpayer-funded rescue doesn't reward the very people on Wall Street who created this mess while shafting the needs of Main Street.

The President, the Federal Reserve, SEC and Congressional committees responsible for regulation and oversight failed to act in the public or national interest and allowed this economic meltdown to reach crisis proportions. It's ironic that the same people and firms that preached free-market capitalism are the ones now demanding a speedy taxpayer bailout.

This bailout should be seized as an opportunity to start addressing the real economic crisis–the one on Main Street–where the struggle to make ends meet is increasingly more dire in an economy marked by job losses, crumbling infrastructure, the lowest levels of personal savings since the 1920s, Gilded Age inequality and the highest level of foreclosed homes since the Great Depression.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • U.S. Federal Reserve
September 23rd, 2008
06:32 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/23/08

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger after a meeting in New York, Tuesday.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Read more here….

Good luck to all!

Update: See the winners!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 23rd, 2008
05:13 PM ET

What about my mortgage?

Tami Luhby
CNNMoney.com Senior Writer

The Bush administration wants to help beleaguered financial institutions – and prevent the financial crisis from getting worse – by spending $700 billion to buy up troubled mortgage securities.

But many struggling homeowners are asking: "Where's my bailout?"

Democratic lawmakers have taken up their battle and say they will include more help for homeowners as part of the proposal, according to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, who heads the House Financial Services Committee. Final details are still being hammered out, but it appears that the idea is gaining traction.

Here's how the bailout could work: Once the Treasury Department takes hold of the securities, it can review the terms of the underlying loans and the financial shape of each homeowner. The department then could opt to modify the loans – by reducing the interest rate or principal balance – to affordable terms for borrowers.

The problem, experts said, is that the mortgages will be bundled into investments and sold. Therefore, the ownership of each loan is divided among all the investors who purchased the security.

And that complicates the process of helping individual homeowners.


Filed under: Economy
September 23rd, 2008
04:46 PM ET

Gov. Palin: Have a seat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.palin.kissinger.jpg]
From Network Pool report

Gov. Sarah Palin met with Henry Kissinger on Tuesday afternoon at his office for nearly 90 minutes. Both sat on separate, perpendicular blue couches, with Palin to Kissinger's left. Framed maps hung above Palin's head. On the end table between the pair was a photo of Nixon and another of Reagan.

We heard this part of the conversation:

KISSINGER: "And I'm going to give him a lot of credit for what he did in Georgia.

"PALIN: "Good, good. And you'll give me more insight on that, also, huh? Good."

Kissinger was referring to NICOLAS SARKOZY, who is apparently receiving an award at a ceremony where Kissinger is speaking

Palin emerged from the building at 3p, making this by far her longest meeting (others were roughly half an hour). She was accompanied by Kissinger and the two hugged and she gave him a peck on the cheek. CNN's Peter Hamby (the star of today) yelled, "Governor, how was your meeting?" and she mouthed "It was great."

Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 23rd, 2008
04:33 PM ET

Biden’s talking point to nowhere

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.biden2.jpg]

Program Note: We know where Sen. Joseph Biden stands on Alaska's 'Bridge to Nowhere'... but see how he voted. Watch Drew Griffin's full report tonight 10P ET

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Reporter

I’ve been hearing about the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska for three years now, and thought I had heard it all. The classic example of the Senator Ted Stevens insatiable appetite for pork barrel spending has become the perennial symbol of all that is wrong in Washington.

But thanks to Senator Joe Biden, tonight we open a new chapter. The vice presidential candidate has been trying to peg the bridge on his Republican opponent. While Gov. Sarah Palin did indeed flip-flop on supporting the bridge when she learned Alaska would need to foot the entire bill, Gov. Sarah Palin never actually cast a single vote in favor of it. She was only a candidate when she pledged her support.

So what? So it turns out the story on the Democratic side of the Senate chambers is a little murky under that bridge to nowhere. Joe Biden, it turns out, actually voted for the bridge to nowhere…and he did it twice. What else? It turns out Senator Barack Obama voted the same way.


Filed under: Drew Griffin • Joe Biden • Raw Politics
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