Silver Chips Online

National News for Dec. 6 - Dec. 19

By Kevin Teng, Online News Editor
December 20, 2008
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report and CNN. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Washington, D.C.
The government is continuing to work on an automobile bailout package after Republican senators blocked the passage of the $15 billion bailout, reasoning that the bill would give the industry too much freedom without sufficient financial responsibilities. The bailout money will most likely come from the existing $700 billion plan or from the Federal Reserve's emergency fund, as the auto industry is expected to receive up to $15 billion. Current public opinion of the auto bailout is divided - 47 percent of Americans are for and 46 percent are against it, according to a Gallup poll. General Motors and Chrysler have said that their money will dry up within weeks while Ford has stated that they can still stay afloat. Chrysler halted production for a month starting Friday.

Dec. 16 - The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate to zero to .25 percent, the lowest level ever. This rate determines the interest rate for lending between banks. As a result of the Federal Reserve's actions, banks can more easily get capital to lend to investors or to make investments. As a result of the rate decrease, many banks lowered their interest rates, prompting businesses and individuals to make new loans or to refinance their current loans, thus making smaller loan payments than they would have earlier. The Federal Reserve plans on keeping the federal funds rate low to help boost the economy and encourage spending.

Chicago, Ill.
Dec. 17 - The Illinois Supreme Court decided against considering the removal of Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.). Lisa Madigan (D-Ill.), the attorney general of Illinois, proposed a motion to restrain Blagojevich from exercising many of his powers as governor. If the motion had passed, Blagojevich would have lost the power to appoint a new senator to fill President-Elect Barack Obama's empty seat. On Dec. 9, Blagojevich was arrested along with his Chief of Staff John Harris on suspicions of corruption by the FBI. Harris has since resigned and Blagojevich is currently evading impeachment from his post. The vacant senatorial seat will likely be held by a Democrat regardless of what happens to Blagojevich, as appeals from Republicans to hold a special election have failed so far.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8807