September 29th, 2008
04:39 PM ET

This is not Armageddon, and this, too, shall pass

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/wallstreet.apoco.jpg caption="Fear swept across the financial markets Monday after the government's financial bailout package failed the House."]

Ali Velshi | BIO
CNN Senior Business Correspondent

Despite what will likely be the biggest point loss this year, and the biggest point drop in history, markets are not the big deal here. This is about the credit markets, which are seriously frozen, imperiling the ability of companies to raise short-term cash to pay their bills.

You can’t see this happening in real time in a box on the corner of your screen. We have very clear indications of it, both anecdotally, and through the measure of dreary markets and LIBOR. But we’ll really only know about it when it’s too late – when companies cant make payroll or close down shifts at plants.

This underscores a fundamental lack of understanding of financial markets in Congress.

This is not Armageddon, and this, too, shall pass. But because of the failure in Washington today, more people will lose their homes, more businesses will fail, and more people will lose their jobs.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Ali Velshi • Bailout Turmoil • Economy
September 29th, 2008
04:32 PM ET

Defense at O.J. trial unveils witness list

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/art.oj.court3.jpg]
Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The defense in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery trial tipped off which witnesses it may soon begin calling.

Simpson defense attorney Yale Galanter revealed in open court that four of his witnesses include Las Vegas police officers Rod Hunt and C. Tucker.

Hunt previously testified for the prosecution.

The Simpson defense team will also call Simpson's close friend Tom Scotto.


September 29th, 2008
04:30 PM ET

Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/art.congress.demleaders.jpg caption="Members of the House Democratic Leadership meet with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington."]
Editor's note: Jeffrey A. Miron is senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. A Libertarian, he was one of 166 academic economists who signed a letter to congressional leaders last week opposing the government bailout plan.

Jeffrey A. Miron
Senior Lecturer, Harvard University

Congress has balked at the Bush administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Under this plan, the Treasury would have bought the "troubled assets" of financial institutions in an attempt to avoid economic meltdown.

This bailout was a terrible idea. Here's why.

The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the center of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on huge amounts of excessive risk.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Raw Politics
September 29th, 2008
02:19 PM ET

What did you do this weekend? I waited for gas

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

What did you do this weekend? Like many in Atlanta, I spent my afternoons sitting in lines at gas stations.

All stations within a couple of miles from my house were empty.

Stations that had gas also had lines ringing the block. Some wait times exceeded an hour.

It's not unusual to hear of motorists following tanker trucks hoping they will lead to a gas station that will soon have gas.

I was one of the lucky ones. My wait times were under a half hour. I wonder what will happen the next time my tank is going dry?

Filed under: 360° Radar • David Mattingly • Gas Prices • Oil
September 29th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

O.J. Trial: Secret recordings

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/art.vert.ojsimpson2.jpg width=292 height=320]
Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Jurors in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery trial strained Monday morning to hear the secret recording made by alleged gunman Michael McClinton.

Simpson defense attorney Gabe Grasso replayed the tape in cross examination and questioned the reliability of a transcript of the recording.

One of the most disputed interpretations of the recording, did Simpson say "you didn't pull your piece (gun) in the hall?"

McClinton hid the tape recorder and tried to capture Simpson talking at a restaurant after the sting at the Palace Station Hotel.

September 29th, 2008
01:47 PM ET

iReporter: No Gas in Atlanta, what is going on?!

Latisha Robb of Sandy Springs, Georgia sent us this iReport. She shows us just how difficult it has become to find gas in parts of Georgia. She tells us she spent close to an hour getting in line to fill up her car. "I had to find gas for the week, I have to get my kids to school."

Filed under: iReport
September 29th, 2008
01:28 PM ET

Palin problem: She’s out of her league

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/palin.experience.jpg caption="Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking at a watch party prior to the first presidential debate on Friday. " width=292 height=320]
Kathleen Parker
The National Review

If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream — away from Sarah Palin.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.

Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick — what a difference a financial crisis makes — and a more complicated picture has emerged.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 29th, 2008
01:25 PM ET

Pirates hijack ship loaded with deadly cargo

A crew member taken hostage on a pirated ship off the coast of Somalia has died. CNN's David McKenzie reports
A crew member taken hostage on a pirated ship off the coast of Somalia has died. CNN's David McKenzie reports

David McKenzie | BIO
CNN Correspondent 

They have done it again, but perhaps they have bitten off more than they can chew.

Pirates have hijacked 25 vessels this year off the coast of Somalia, but it is 'number 25' that has brought the most international attention.

On Thursday they captured the 'MV Faina' as it was about to dock in Mombassa, Kenya.

Onboard? Soviet-era tanks and weapons.

According to the Ukrainian ministry, the ship is carrying a huge cache of arms including 33 Soviet built T-72 tanks, tank munitions, and an undisclosed amount of small arms.

Security experts tell CNN that if the arms found their way to Somalia they could help fuel the conflict their and even end up in the hands of terror groups.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David McKenzie • Global 360°
September 29th, 2008
01:03 PM ET

Downsizing 102 – When It Happens to You

Editor's Note: The Ethics Guy, Dr. Bruce Weinstein, writes the ethics column for BusinessWeek.com.Here is Dr. Weinsteins followup blog to to downsizing: "Downsizing 101 – When You Have to Do It"

Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D.
AC360° Contributor
The Ethics Guy,

Americans are bracing for massive job losses in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Even before the recent crisis on Wall Street, anxiety about employment was high; earlier this year, the U.S. Labor Dept. released a report stating that there had been a net loss of 63,000 jobs, which was the biggest decline in five years.

Whether or not your own job is in jeopardy in the near future, at some point in your career you may become a victim of downsizing. What should you do? What you should avoid doing at all costs? We’ll consider these questions in this column, the second of a two-part series on the ethics of downsizing.

Being laid off is one of the most traumatic events we can experience. On the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, getting fired is the eighth most stressful life experience, behind the death of a spouse (#1) or going to jail (#4), but ahead of the death of a close friend (#17), foreclosure on a mortgage or loan (#21), or in-law troubles (#24). Rightly or wrongly, many of us define ourselves by our jobs, which is why one of the first questions we ask someone we meet is, “What do you do?”


Filed under: Bruce Weinstein • Economy • Ethics • Job Market
September 29th, 2008
12:35 PM ET

Gambler McCain survives a wild week

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/mcain.jpg caption="Republican presidential candidate John McCain shakes hands with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Presidential Debate on Friday." width=292 height=320]

Ed Rollins
GOP Strategist and Former Huckabee National Campaign Chairman

Wow what a week!

Having watched Congressional leaders and the White House deal behind closed doors all week, I now know why the country has been giving them some of the lowest approval ratings in history.

John McCain is a big gambler according to a lengthy story in Sunday's New York Times. And certainly a roll of the dice is the best way to describe the last week. Congress is betting billions of our tax dollars that Wall Street - which lost much of its own and its investors' money in bad bets - will do better with the government's money.

Our "Swaggerer in Chief," President Bush, who has strutted from crisis to crisis with utmost arrogance for two long terms, sheepishly arrived on primetime television to scare the daylights out of the very people he should be reassuring. I have never heard a president give a less reassuring speech.

It was definitely a "Chicken Little," the-sky-is-falling performance with no explanation of why taxpayers must mortgage their kids' futures to pay for this latest crisis to occur on his watch.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Ed Rollins • Raw Politics
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