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Cue the talking heads

September 29, 2008 - Steve Murch
What’s next?

The U.S. House just voted down the proposed $700 billion bailout plan, 228-205. To pass it only needed a simple majority, so it appears there was plenty of doubt. And of course the Dow took a real dive, temporarily heading below 10,600 — more than 600 points down from the start of the day. It did have a head start, as it was down about 250 points most of the day up to that point (investors probably should have seen it coming, as the opening bell didn’t malfunctioned and didn’t sound today).

If I were a betting man, and thankfully I’m not, my guess is many in Congress heard the cries, moans, yelps, etc., from their constituents who it appears overwhelmingly didn’t want them to pass it, if all the sound bytes on the cable shows this past weekend is any indication. Which means it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Of the presidential candidates, who benefits and who suffers most? The Republicans were hailing the fact the proposed came to fruition because of John McCain. Does its failure help or hurt him, since the House is controlled by the Democrats? And what about Barack Obama? His party, despite having the majority, didn’t pass it. If this vote resonates through the financial markets and plunges us deeper into a recession (come on folks, we’re in one), will that come back to haunt him.

Let the analysts take center stage.

* On a side note, in an Associated Press story that will appear in Tuesday’s edition of The News, the Michigan Public Service Commission says residents can look forward to a 21 percent increase in their heating bills this winter — the average residential heating bill will be $193 per month.


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