February 19th, 2009
02:22 PM ET

Send Ali your questions

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/19/ali.promo.jpg]

You've heard about the Stimulus plan, and the Housing rescue plan, and the TARP bank bailouts. But you still have questions, right?

Ask us your questions here, and Ali will answer some tonight on AC360° at 10PM ET.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Ali, my question is this: Why hasn't the nation been enlightened to the truth that legalizing and regulating marijuana would in fact help our economy on many levels?

    February 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  2. Betsey Wilder

    With all this supposedly "good news", why does the stock market continue to drop?. I don't understand why investors are adding fuel to the fire instead of showing some faith.


    February 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  3. Darlene

    Hi, Ali,
    Just need to vent....I have a credit card account w/Capital One Bank. I have never been late on a payment (never!). I always pay more than the minimum due. My interest rate has just been raised from 11% to 17.9%. I called to complain and was given the option to "opt out" and close the account. It is maddening that "doing the right thing" ended up with a punishment from a company that is taking probably billions for the government....while the same company is offering help to those customers who can't make their payments!!! Then to make things worse, I have to speak to "Bob" in customer service, who is, of course, not in the US, and strain to understand what he is saying.....I have a suggestion.....in order to collect any government assistance, make the banks and financial insitututions bring back all the outsourced jobs....that would make a dent in our unemployment numbers, don't you think? And it may make some customers very happy....they will finally get someone on the other line who can be understood. Do right (little guys) = get punished Do wrong (big banks) = get bailed out

    February 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  4. Mark

    I Unfortunately was unable to complete the new financing deal with Hope for Homeowners through Wells Fargo. House was Foreclosed on in late December. ARM kicked in, Loss of income, Wife unable to find a job in this economy and appraised value of the home was 40% of the initial value from 2006. We did all we could to work with the lender to no avail.

    Will there be any forseeable options for those of us that missed the boat on the mortgage bail out stimulus. This was definitly a timing issue for millions of us, but our situation was no different than many who are now being afforded the option provided in the recent stimulus package.

    February 19, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  5. Robert A. Pettis

    Do you think that Ford Motor sees it as fair that GM and Chrysler are getting taxpayer bailouts to compete against Ford Motor?

    February 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  6. Jay Rowen

    I am a small time real estate investor. I'm 72 and own about a dozen small properties, from single family homes to duplexes. I've never flipped, have always held on long term, and charge moderate rents to moderate to lower income people. This has been my retirement plan. I don't own stock, have no 401K or individual pension.

    Now I am being castigated as a speculator, and no provision is made for me in any kind of plan anywhere. If I and those like me, lose my properties, who is going to be around to provide the rentals that people just starting out and people now losing their homes to foreclosure rely on. Seems to me that I am being penalized for following one of the great American dreams.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  7. Scar1

    Some have already lost their homes and jobs-what do you do for them. What do you do when you lose it all and find yourself not able to pay debts or find work to try? When one is 5 minutes from being on the street cause they cannot pay the rent or get credit to start over. What then?

    February 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  8. Scar1

    Why could not the Senate and House have given the money in rebate to the American people instead of wasting it on "Air Head executives". It is time the American people get some money back from the Government that gives so much to others over the world.
    We could have-some of us anyway settled our own debt problems.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  9. brent collins

    i keep getting these ads on my computer tellin me I qualify for free money through the new stimulus bill,I am unemployed... but is this truth or another scam? Thank You.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  10. James E

    Ali, I see that the mortgage stimulus is not at all square. I've seen report after report that legitimate financial institutions supposedly had to compete with unscrupulous lenders when all needed to "pad" incomes for mortgages to be approved. Now that these consumers can't make payments "They Get Help?" My Question is: Shouldn't someone look at the mortgage first to substantiate the buyer was qualified to start with. I'm sure all of these people were not duped before they signed on the dotted line.
    Disabled American Veteran
    Hollywood, Fl

    February 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  11. Brooke

    I've heard the stimulus package is going to help folks underwater but are current on their mortgage. All I really care about is will it help me?

    1. My mortgage is current
    2. My home has devalued 150K (California) and it is my only home
    3. I have an adjustable rate mortgage with Indymac

    My home is a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom in California that i regret buying. But at the time it was the hight of the housing market and it was the cheepest house in our neighboorhood. When we found out we were having a baby the ideal thing would have been to sell our house and buy a bigger home. But we couldn't. We have since moved out of state and rent a home that is cheeper than our mortgage and rent out our house in california at a loss. I feel like we are holding on for dear life. Is the plan going to help me?

    February 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  12. Barbara from NJ

    Hello Ali,
    Would you please explain how the mortgage recovery plan benefits even the people that work 3 jobs, the ones that are crying unfair, and that think they will not benefit? I'm really tired of hearing their belly aching and it's only been 2 days. They need to somehow understand that the state of this economy ultimately affects everyone.

    Thank you

    February 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  13. Tony Martinez

    We as a people are in so much financial chaos that we have no choice but to take what we can. It is unfortunate that those poor people that have held on to the bitter end and kept up with whatever mortgages we have will not really get a financial hand. Still this second group could fall into the first group easily and at any time.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  14. Pete Eberhart

    In my mind there seems to be a big Gorilla in the room when it comes to changes in the Automotive Industry. I think its a little elitist and cynical to assume that everyone can just run right out and get an electric car or alternative fuel vehicle. The world is filled with internal combustion cars. If the focus was on a viable clean burning retrofit for all these cars everyone would win : Detroit, the global consumer, and the Earth. New technologies can and should come as time provides.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  15. Christina Glendale, AZ

    Mr. Ali,

    How do you get your head so shinny?? lol, no in all seriousness.. who can I trust about the stimulus package. I am no where near being an economist and I'm trying to read the stimulus bill but can't wrap my head around it. I hear arguments on both sides and can't decide if this is a good or bad thing. Since it has past and this money WILL be spent with promises of transparency what will happen or what can I do if the money does not go where it is stated to go? Are we really being asked to believe that the gov't will police themselves and honestly tell us where OUR money is going?

    Thanks and as always, keep up the great work!
    Christina, AZ

    February 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  16. Sam from Las Vegas

    In regard to the Tarp Banks bailout, of them.Are the banks leaning money to any foreign,business,person or county.Should we,(tax payer) be conerns for this?Thank You

    February 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  17. Sandy

    I bought my place 12 years ago. My home is a manufactured home on a acre of land (land Packet). I was ripped off by the first morgage company so I refinanced it. All I see them talk about and show on the news is refinancing homes nothing about remanufactured homes. What I would like to know is a manufactured home concidered in this refinancing? I was hurt on the job and can no longer work and I'm on a fixed income and it takes almost half my check to make my payments. I have never been late on a payment and when I was working I tried to pay a little extra each month and then a large amount when I got my income tax in. That is until I learned that the first morgage company was ripping me off so I became to weiry to trust the second one with extra money.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  18. Alana L

    The new housing rescue plan has a great premise: in addition to aiding those nearing foreclosure, assist FHA homeowners to refinance at lower rates. However, if my mortgage is NOT 31% or more of my gross income, am I excluded? Are other living expenses taken into consideration, how does a second mortgage factor into the equation? As it stands, it sounds like this plan is, in fact, assisting those people who over extended themselves financially in the first place.

    February 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Isabel Abreu, Brazil


    I'm Isabel, from Brazil, and my question is regarding a clause of package that has a direct influence to the company Vale, one of the largest in the country, where my brother works.

    I read little on the clause "Buy American" but I do not understand very well. Can you comment on the clause, please?

    This is a very controversial point of the package.


    February 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  20. David Kennedy

    Hi Ali,

    I hope this stimulus plan works but before any more of us fall of the cliff into homelessness and foodstamps, please have the experts on your show give a practical 5 step solution to those of us who have lost our jobs and are not expecting or waiting for a government handout. What kind of plan would your experts give to people who have a small amount of cash saved ($5000) but no job , no house , no where to go. Where do we start so we can help ourselves?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  21. Mike

    We are a dual income family (middle class) with two sons in college. Currently, we pay our bills and mortgage on time. Once my my off-shore replacements take my job in June (2nd time in 5 yrs), I may not.

    Since we DO NOT qualify for any education assistance, home weatherization credits or any other program, I'm wondering if we'll qualify to get our mortgage principal and interest reduced (lol).

    Unlike our Senators, I read the entire 407 pages of the Stimulus Package. There is not much in it for the average American. About the only thing we'll be able to do with it is to print it, cut it into 4×4 sheets and recycle it in the bathroom.

    If you would like some toilet paper go to –

    Tired of paying for everyone.
    American IT Worker

    Maybe all Senators and Congressman should forfeit their salaries for the next four years. They passed it not me; let them pay for it.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  22. Lawrence Shelton

    Why can´t the $s to the car companies be given to via a Credit ( say $8000 ) to individual consumers on a new GM/Chry/Ford, max value of say $30,000) car 1995 or older, tagged and road legal, with the credit then going to the respective car company and the old guzzler crushed. The people who have the dollars would be tempted to make the purchase, adding to the government dollars, and the old car is off the road, move current stock on lots, bring sales to the dealerships, income to the salesmen, and incentive to the dealers to make salable deals. And no, this would not benefit me personally, but there are a lot who would take it up. And it would not be a FREE HANDOUT to the auto makers without some assistance going to the public paying the bill.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  23. Lawrence Shelton

    Why can´t the $s to the car companies be given via a Credit ( say $8000 ) on a new GM/Chry/Ford, max value of say $30,000) car 1995 or older, tagged and road legal, with the credit then going to the respective car company and the old guzzler crushed. The people who have the dollars would be tempted to make the purchase, adding to the government dollars, and the old car is off the road, move current stock on lots, bring sales to the dealerships, income to the salesmen, and incentive to the dealers to make salable deals. And no, this would not benefit me personally, but there are a lot who would take it up. And it would not be a FREE HANDOUT to the auto makers without some assistance going to the public paying the bill.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  24. Maria Vizcaino


    HP announced a significant pay cut to their employees this Wednesday, after announcing a dip on sales because of the economic crisis. How or will the bail out plan help these employees, who woke up to an email informing them that they would be receiving a 5% to 20% pay cut effected immediately?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  25. Jane


    Several years ago, I stopped adding money to my portfolio and began a savings account. Each quarter, I would rebalance my portfolio to ensure that its stocks-bonds ratio was consistent with my age and needs. However, I have not rebalanced my portfolio since last June, and I'm reluctant to make any changes now because I'd be locking in my losses. Should I keep the ratios that I have right now, or should I sell stocks to keep things balanced?


    February 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  26. Tom


    I am at a loss on this bailout plan. I purchased a home last year when prices fell into my price range, responsible buying. I signed on a mortgage I could afford, in fact when my loan officer told me I could borrow $200,000 more than I asked for I told him that I “did not want to have to choose between eating steak for dinner or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches down the road”, responsible borrowing.

    However, being responsible has only led to more responsibilities. My taxes are going to pay the refinancing costs for my neighbors who borrowed irresponsibly. Then if I want to refinance, which would save me about $250/month at today’s rates, I will have to pay my own refinancing costs in full because I do not meet bailout thresholds. Just because I am not loosing my home does not mean I can’t think of better things to do with $250 a month.

    So much for responsibility, I should have taken that extra $200,000 and gotten a bigger house and a bailout!

    So, my question: When is the bailout going to help the people who have been doing the right thing all along?

    All I ask is a 100% tax credit for all costs associated with my refinance.


    February 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  27. Bill Keehn Sr.

    Ali, banks don't want to give up toxic assets and take a loss. What can break this stalemate to get credit flowing again? Could Congress perhaps initiate a new Federal Land Grant program and offer up millions of acres of public land in tracts large enough to sweeten the deal for the banks? There could be limitations of how long they would have to hold the land grant just like the Wall Street bonus limitations are required to be held. But it might serve as a means to put millions of acres onto the public tax rolls in the long run. Ask Pickens to lay out his wind turbine paths into the U.S. and give the banks the options to develop government held lands in those areas as a start. Just an idea. Keep up the excellent reports!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  28. GG

    We purchased a home 2.5 years ago. My husband lost his job 4 months ago and the house value has dropped 50% at least. We stopped paying the mortgage since now we can not afford any more. Besides that we have a negative amortized loan. Were do we fit in in the housing plan? We do not belong to neither Freddie Mac nor Fannie May, how can we get help so our house being threatened to go into foreclousure can be rescued, with an lower up to date principle and and normal interest rate? Please help.
    Thank you,

    February 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  29. Abbos R.

    I live in California and our 41 billion dollar budget finally passed. What do you think about CA raising taxes during these times of depression? Secondly, are there any benifits financially if we were to secede from the U.S.?!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  30. Maripat


    My son will be graduating from Temple University in the summer . We all know 6 months after graduation he will have to start paying back his loans. What happens if he doesn't find a job or finds a job but doesn't make enough to live on and pay his loans. Do you think the holders of the loans will take everything into consideration?

    February 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  31. pedro boch

    I have place my house on sale because it drop about $250.00 thousan. I got 3 offer on and wells fargo bank it is working to take one of the offer. with stimulus pakcage shoul i stop the short sale and aply for the new loan? I stop paying because the value drop.
    Tank you.
    pedro Boch

    February 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  32. vinaya singh

    Hi Ali,

    How a person will be benefitted by the housing rescu plan whose mortgage is twice the value of REO properties in neighbourhood posted for sale? If a person in this scneario is not getting any help by this plan, what should he/she do? It's not wise to pay the mortgage even if one is able to afford. It will be wasted, sice ther no equity building.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  33. Frank DeStefanis Jr


    I am a mortgage broker in Ohio and loans are few and far between. With the down economy and depression looming, how will the stimulus package help an ailing housing market? Depreciation is a nationwide epidemic. Housing values are down...nearly all homeowners across the country are upside down on their mortgages unless their home is nearly paid off. The government needs to let homeowners fail, businesses fail...you need to build a foundation that is strong again...not one that is being built top heavy with stimulus packages and bailouts.

    Keep up the great work...

    February 19, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  34. Jita Buno

    Hi Ali,

    I have read that the stimulus plan will help homeowners in trouble and also those that have at least 20% equity in their homes to refinance. What about those of us that did the right thing but now find our mortgages to be significanlty higher than the value of the home? In our case, we owe $40,000 more than the value of the house (on a good day), and have never missed a payment. May be I missed it, but is there anything in the stimulus plan to help that damographic?


    February 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  35. John Owen


    Did you know that a trillion dollars is about 20 cents a day every day from the Big Bang? Hard to believe, eh?

    John Owen
    Victoria BC Canada

    February 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  36. Tim Burleson

    I am interested in the weatherazation of homes in the stimulis. How does that work and whom would I contact?

    February 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  37. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    I've posed this conept time and time again but what is being done to actually stabilize and grow our Industrial Manufacturing Infrastructure so we can actually start MAKING things here again? You financial people seem to be somewhat insensitive to home grown HIgh PAYING jobs here in the U.S.A.

    Wal-Mart and McDonalds et.al. don't create REAL HIGH PAYING jobs here. Theses are all low end poverty line paying DEAD END employment at best. Just what have Tax Cuts actually done to create HIGH PAYING jobs right here ? No matter who I listen to from the left or right there just never seems to be a rational explanation or answer to this. There's always some nebulous comment about the 'Global Economy' or some equally nebulous comment about tariffs deepening the Great Depression of the 1930s. The FACT remains that what got us out of the last DEPRESSION was the 'Mother of ALL Stimulious Packages ... namely ... the MASSIVE Government Spending on AMERICAN MADE Products and the Enormous Tax Increases of WORLD WAR II.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  38. Mark

    Why is it the every time that president Obama speaks on tv the stock market drops 500 points that week. Isn't Obama supposed to help the economy. But no he would rather spend a million dollers by flying every where.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  39. Amanda

    Ali, all of the hype about unemployment is scaring me. I'm 2 years away from graduating college, and to think there won't be a job waiting for me makes me wonder if I should just stay in school until the economy gets better. Plenty of teachers say it's the right thing to do, but would you? Please consider those who use student loans to get through college!

    February 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  40. Eric

    Why does Rick Santelli seem to ignore the fact that some home owners
    are not able to pay their mortgages due to an economic down, where their trade was negatively effected?
    In my case, I have owned a small renovation company in South Florida for 10 years. The last 2 years since hurricane Wilma has seen unprecedented loss of construction jobs, coinciding with an economy which has poured salt on the wound. Homeowners have become tight in their purse strings here and elsewhere.
    My previous lien holder sold my mortgage, which I had paid on time for 6 years, and the new company, Citimortgage, upped my payments $400 and immediately placed my loan in default as soon as they took over. My point is that there are millions of cases falling into the gray zone, where a greedy bank bought mortgages, then changed the percent and/or monthly payments, sending people into default status when they could not afford the new payments.
    I wonder if Rick Santelli realizes his wall street buddies all got government help themselves, and golden parachutes cloud the skies over Manhattan. Does he also know what happens to a neighborhood lined with empty houses, where once-paying homeowners got the boot?

    February 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  41. Heather NY

    When do the people who have been responsible through all of this and are still barely keeping their heads above water get a bailout?
    Where is the handout for my small wholesale business that is suffering from reduced sales in this economy?
    Oh wait, I'm not Rick Wagoner and I can't dangle thousands of jobs in front of Washington in exchange for free money.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  42. Cindy

    Is there truly any way for Obama to pick and choose between people who will get help from his housing bailout? I mean how can you tell really who was in foreclosure not of their own doing? I just don' t think that you can. There are some people that are having problems because of losing their jobs but many are in trouble because they tried to live too high on the hog. So do you see any way that they will be able to tell one from the other and keep these high on the hog people from living off of our dime?


    February 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  43. Dave Phillips

    Has there been any talk of a tax break to encourage repatriating US companies foreign earnings?

    Many of our large companies have huge stashes of cash overseas that they won't bring back into the country to spend/invest because of the tax consequences. For example, Cisco has roughly $30B in cash, but about $27B of that is overseas and not doing the US economy any good. Seems like this would be a great source of stimulus.


    – Dave

    February 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  44. Leann

    I have a very important question that I am sure millions of other Americans would like to know. My husband and I had to do a short sale on our home in August 2008. We owned our home for 3 years and were never once late on a payment and we both had 850+ credit scores prior to the reporting of the short sale on our credit report. Since the reporting, I have inquired with the banks about a new home loan. We were told that we cannot get a new loan for 4 years because the banks are looking at the settlement as a foreclosure. We felt like we did the right thing in working with the bank instead of letting the house go to foreclosure but are still being penalized. We really want to be able to buy a home again soon – especially with all of the great deals that are now available versus when we bought at the height of the market. Do you know if there is anything in the works that will allow people to purchase a new home even if they had to do a short sale?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  45. JC- Los Angeles

    Ali, since it appears that Timothy Geithner, of tax evasion fame, is planning to rebuild Wall Street through a "Private/Public Investment Fund," will there be precautions taken that will not allow the "private" parties to be comprised of Geithner's colleagues who made a killing off of mortgage fraud the first time around?

    Can we keep out the guys from Lehman, AIG, Bear Stearns etc who helped create the problem?

    It would be a shame to see Geithner get the insiders paid twice on the same mortgage fraud.

    Keep up the great work.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  46. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    What about...environmental and transportation improvements like mass transit systems following the way of Palm Desert, CA’s Sunline Transit Agency with its Hydrogen Electric Hybrid and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric buses, or modifying shipping & distributing companies’ (USPS, FedEX, UPS) eighteen-wheelers, big rigs and delivery trucks to similar fuel efficient systems, or construction of wind turbine farms (admittedly ugly, but smart) like the ones near Palm Springs, CA. and solar power businesses like Namaste Co, in CO. to power...almost anything.

    There’s transportation and energy solutions already out there all over America that are waiting for expansion. I hope they get money sent their way, just as expected by Namaste Solar Panel Company's, Mr. Blake Jones after yesterday’s stimulus bill signing by President Obama

    February 19, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  47. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    Yes Ali.. My question is this.. If somebody convincing enough told Obama that he could have all the 3 legged stools he ever wanted or could ever fit into the White House.. You think that he will somehow void that Trillions Dollar order that he has got on file? I mean.. Is it possible to cancel the order? Or are we already really stuck footing the bill for the long run?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  48. harve weltman

    i have read through the homeowners affordability and stability plan and according to my mortgage holder which is Fannie Mae i would qualify for a loan modification...my question is if i file for bankruptcy would this effect my application for the new homeowners plan...if possible could you reply by email...thank you harve weltman

    February 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  49. xtina, chicago IL

    ali- do you agree that Obama, in creating the biggest spending bill in history, has made us Americans more dependent on the government?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  50. L. Carilo, H.R., CO


    To address the "homeless" homeless needs. Any monies going to programs for shelter, health and hunger needs?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
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