Paulson Explain Rescue Plan

October 15, 2008 9:21:56 AM PDT
The economy is still wobbly despite the new bank-rescue plan from Washington.Explaining the U.S. Government's plan to spend $250-billion dollars buying ownership shares in at least nine banks, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sounded almost apologetic. "Government owning a stake in any private U.S. company is objectionable to most Americans; me included."

In the latest evolution of the $700-billion dollar rescue plan, taxpayers would get ownership shares of the banks and a guaranteed 5% return on their money.

"It actually puts cash in bank hands to turn around and give to consumers," said Diane Swonk, Chief Economist with Mesirow Financial.

Wall Street struggled with the idea for most of the day on Tuesday, initially going up 400 points only to have the Dow close down almost 77 points.

"There'll by ups and downs in the markets day to day, but I think we're now headed in the right direction," said C. Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

There is some economic good news. Consumers are driving less, driving down gas prices 33 cents a gallon in just the past week to a nationwide average of $3.15 a gallon. That's almost a dollar lower than the high of $4.11 in July.

"I expect gasoline prices to fall to three dollars by thanksgiving and they could fall even faster by the end of the year. The consumer is in for lower gas prices for the next 6-9 months," said Andy Lipow with Lipow Oil Associates.

Some airlines are also cutting their fuel surcharges, meaning that holiday ticket could cost you less this year.



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