National News for Sept. 13 - 26

Sept. 26, 2008, midnight | By Kevin Teng | 15 years, 8 months ago

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.

The financial markets experienced extreme price volatility after the recent failures of the financial industry. The fundamental problem was caused by constant declines in housing prices. Banking institutions suffered major losses on home mortgages, as homebuyers are unwilling to pay the banks more than the property is currently worth. The mortgage problem has snowballed into other equity investments because the total capital losses of these major institutions result in reduced investor confidence; investors are not as willing to put money into major institutions that give bad loans.

Lehman Brothers, one of the biggest banking institutions, has declared bankruptcy because it lacks the capital to pay for its losses in bad mortgages. American International Group, a company that insures loans, is in turn suffering losses because it suddenly has to pay a lot of companies and individuals at once due to overall financial failures. The government is looking to pass a bill that would issue up to $700 billion to help companies like AIG from failing. The bill is intended to help increase investor confidence and ensure that the equity problems do not spread to create an overall economic recession.

Oxford, Miss.
Sept. 26 – Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has agreed to participate in a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) tonight at 9 p.m. The candidate's decision came after a previous choice to put politics aside, with the reasoning that the national focus should rest on the financial crisis. Democrats attacked McCain for trying to shift the focus, because many of them believed that his intent was to avoid debating the issues. Both candidates have been campaigning heavily for the Nov. 4 election.

Anchorage, Alaska
Sept. 18 – Republican vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) had her e-mail account hacked. Personal e-mails were publicized on the Internet after a hacker reset her Yahoo! account password with some of Palin's personal information. University of Tennessee student and son of Representative Mike Kernell (D-Tenn.) David Kernell, 20, is under investigation by the FBI in the suspicion that he is connected to the hacking. Three of his roommates have been subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury on Sept. 23.

Washington, D.C.
Sept. 23 – The U.S. Mint revealed four new penny designs that will commemorate Abraham Lincoln. Only the "tails" side of the penny was changed in each of the four designs. The coins will debut on Presidents' Day in 2009, fifty years after the penny was last modified. It currently costs 1.4 cents to create a penny, due to increased zinc and copper prices.

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