By Scott Lanman and Craig Torres
Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.
The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed’s emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.
Stocks plunge on Wall Street as bailout fails in Congress
By Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate
30 September 2008
Wall Street suffered its biggest one-day point fall in history amid panic selling, as the proposed government bailout of the major banks and finance houses went down to defeat Monday in the US House of Representatives.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 777 points, or 7 percent. The other major indexes fell even further, in percentage terms, with the Nasdaq Composite Index plunging more than 9 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index falling 8.8 percent. A total of $1.2 trillion, or 9 percent, of total market value was wiped out.
After the bill was voted down, Obama delayed making a statement until he could consult with Paulson. Then he insisted that the proposal was “required for us to stabilize the markets.” He continued: “Democrats and Republicans in Washington have a responsibility to make sure an emergency rescue package is put forward that can at least stop the immediate problems that we have.”
For his part, McCain issued no immediate statement, while a campaign aide echoed the ludicrous claim of the Republican House leadership that the measure’s defeat was a response to a partisan attack in the remarks of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the vote was taken.
In the end, the program of these opponents of the bailout is one of even more tax cuts for the rich and the destruction of what little remains of a social safety net in America, transferring all public monies to big business, albeit by a different route.
If these imbecilic demagogues are able to exploit the popular opposition that exists to the bailout, it is only because the leadership of the Democratic Party is so solidly unified behind the interests of finance capital and so indifferent to the concerns of the masses of working people. They are utterly incapable of offering the slightest substantive alternative to the demands of Wall Street.
A way out of the crisis—the deepest to confront American and world capitalism since the Great Depression of the 1930s—requires a rejection not only of the bailout, but of the entire framework in which the debate in Washington is being conducted.
The capitalist system has failed, and there is no reason to doubt the warnings from Bush, Paulson, Obama and others that it is preparing a social catastrophe.