Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Tuesday, Dec 2

Today’s the deadline for the Big Three auto makers to present their recovery plan proposals to Congress in order to get a $25 billion bailout.

All eyes will be on Capitol Hill to see the reaction of top lawmakers after the plans are in place. GM, Ford and Chrysler hope to convince lawmakers to approve the $25 billion in low-cost loans to help them survive the current downturn.  The deadline comes as auto companies are due to release their November sales figures, which are expected to be low.

We all knew the economy had been in a slump, but stocks tumbled around the world after confirmation that the United States had entered recession in December 2007. The confirmation by the U.S. arbiter of recession plus a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke triggered a sell-off on Wall Street which in turn sparked a domino-effect around the world.

Overseas the yen rallied to a five-week high against the dollar due in part to shaky stock markets.  Stocks in the U.S. were pegged to recover a bit on Tuesday, in part because of hopes for an auto industry bailout.

The economy will be on the minds of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden as they take part in a meeting in Philadelphia of the National Governors Association.

Obama, McCain face rematch in Senate race

WASHINGTON – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his defeated Republican rival, John McCain, are engaged in somewhat of a rematch. The two are trying to help their respective parties win a razor-close U.S. Senate race in Georgia. 

McCain has accepted an invitation to attend a rally in Atlanta on Thursday for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, while Obama aides are being dispatched to the state to provide a hand to Democratic challenger Jim Martin, a former state senator.

A Dec. 2 runoff is being held because neither Chambliss nor Martin obtained the majority required under state law in the Nov. 4 election to be declared the winner.