US House grants $14-bln auto industry bailout

December 11, 2008

bailoutThe US House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday (December 10) to lend up to $14 billion to the three struggling US automakers, General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC.

Introduced by Democrats, the bill is nearly identical to one pending in the Senate, where Republican opposition was making its chances for passage look uncertain.

“Today the American automotive industry is in peril, due not only to recession and credit freeze but because it has been on the wrong track for long term competitiveness and job creation. Today we are considering legislation not as life support to sustain a dying industry but as a jump-start for an industry that is essential to our country’s economies, economic health,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech before the vote.

While the House stuck to its plan for quick action, uncertainty gripped the Senate where a razor-thin Democratic majority cannot ensure passage. Sixty votes are needed to clear procedural hurdles.

A vote could come as early as Thursday, but some Republicans have vowed to slow or even block the legislation.  The bailout proposal would extend taxpayer-funded loans or lines of credit to the Detroit Three and create a federal government post of “car czar” to oversee.

Source: Times TV

Citigroup gets bailout, US to take $20 bn stake

November 24, 2008

The government unveiled a bold plan to rescue troubled Citigroup, including taking a $20 billion stake in the firm as well as guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars in risky assets.

The action, announced jointly by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is aimed at shoring up a huge financial institution whose collapse would wreak havoc on the already crippled financial system and the U.S. economy.

“With these transactions, the U.S. government is taking the actions necessary to strengthen the financial system and protect U.S. taxpayers and the U.S. economy,” the three agencies said in a statement issued Sunday night. “We will continue to use all of our resources to preserve the strength of our banking institutions, and promote the process of repair and recovery and to manage risks,” they said.

The $20 billion cash injection by the Treasury Department will come from the $700 billion financial bailout package. The capital infusion follows an earlier one — of $25 billion — in Citigroup in which the government received an ownership stake.

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