US car-makers could follow banks into bankruptcy; Wall St bailout plan at risk; Chinese inflation falls; Zimbabwe unity government deadlocked; and more
Top of the Agenda: US Automakers in Limbo
With US automakers threatening to become the next high-profile casualty of the financial crisis, hot debate has erupted in Washington over how to deal with their potential collapse. President-elect Obama, meeting President Bush yesterday at the White House, urged Bush to extend an aid package (WashPost) to automakers by giving them access to some of the Treasury Department's $700 billion economic rescue program.
The talks came as General Motors' financial outlook worsened yesterday. Amid indications that the firm faces severe losses and the prospect of potential bankruptcy, shares of General Motors lost 23 percent of their value yesterday, falling to a fifty-nine-year low (Detroit Free Press). Bloomberg quotes analysts saying only federal aid will save the company.
The Bush administration has traditionally been hesitant to offer bailout money to automakers, and some analysts say the industry should be allowed to fail. But the Post reports Bush indicated to Obama that he might be willing to consider throwing his support behind such a measure if congressional Democrats agree to support his proposed free trade deal with Colombia.
Meanwhile, the Journal reports that pressure from a slew of companies, including automakers, is straining the viability of the bailout plan the US government has in place.
Pacific Rim: Chinese Inflation Falls
Xinhua reports Chinese consumer price index data showed signs of slowing inflation, a positive development in a country where price pressures have proven a major threat to economic growth.
South Korea: Yonhap reports South Korean bank earnings plunged over the first nine months of 2008 due to losses of reserves used for lending.