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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint ...When added to the 700 Billion, the numbers start to get abstract. A trillion dollars is a million million. If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times. One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills. The tab so far for bailouts has reached 8.5 Trillion Dollars! I wonder how long it will take my great grandchildren to pay it back to China. Blogging note: A special thanks to Charley Parker over at Lines and Colors, for featuring my blog yesterday. I've been a big fan of L&C and I am honored to be included in the pantheon of great art that I've so enjoyed reading about over the years ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint Obama unveiled his economic team yesterday. The starting Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, from the University of North Carolina and University of Michigan, Melody Barnes. At Secretary of the Treasury, from Dartmouth College and John Hopkins, Timothy Geithner. Starting Director of the White House Budget Office, from Princeton University and London School of Economics, Peter Orszag. At Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, from the College of William and Mary and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Christina Romer. Starting at Director of the National Economic Council, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, Lawrence Summers The stock market has rallied 900 points in two sessions. ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint When the first whispers of the subprime motgage meltdown started, Citigrpup's then COE Charles Prince resigned claiming Citi had 11 billion in writedowns. Once the nations largest bank, today we know that Citibank had been taking huge risks and had far greater exposure to subprime mortgages than it let on. Yesterday Citi owned up to 65 billion in writedowns. Citi's Stock plunged to 3.77 as Citi entered into desperate talks with the treasury. The government has stepped in with an additional 20 billion to guarantee Citi's 306 billion in assets. ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint Obama has chosen Tom Daschle to be Secratary of Health and Human Services. Daschle graduated South Dakota State University with a degree in political science. He served three years in the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, spent five years as an aid to South Dakota Senator James Abourezk, was elected to the US Congress in 1978, and the US Senate in 1986. Daschle rose to Minority Leader in 1994 and served briefly as the Senate Majority Leader before loosing an election in 2004 to John Thune. Daschle was an early supporter of Barack Obama and served as national co-chair for Obama's presidential campaign. President-elect Obama also named his chief campaign stratagist, David Axelrod, as his Senior Adviser. ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint President-elect Obama chooses Eric Holder to be Attorney General. A Columbia Law School graduate, Holder was appointed by Ronald Reagan to serve as Superior Court Judge of the District of Columbia. He stepped down in 1993 to accept an appointment to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1997 Holder was elevated to Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno in the Clinton administration. He was generally viewed as a centrist in the Justice Department. ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint Nancy Pelosi will not schedule a vote on the bailout until it is clear the bill will pass the senate. That may not be feasible until after January 20th when the democrats will increase their numbers. Ford, perhaps the healthiest of the three, has burned through seven billion in assets in the third quarter but has enough liquidity to survive into the new year. GM however is only months away from closing up shop and warned it might not see years end. While that news may have some wanting to act quickly, Pelosi did say that auto makers will need to show long term economic viability before being considered for a loan. That makes sense. After dividing the 25 billion between the big three, that provides each with a little over eight billion each. When you consider that Ford and GM are loosing about two billion a month, that gives them a four month win ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint The US Senate is attempting to pass a bill giving 25 billion dollars in emergency aid to the US auto makers. Leaders say they might not have the votes, but if they did, would it help? GM is loosing 2 billion dollars a month and has 16 billion left before they could no longer meet their obligations and goes out of business. Even if GM could retool and start producing smaller, more fuel efficient cars in the small window the law makers are hoping to give them, they still have to deal with a prolonged downturn in the economy combined with nearly half a million former workers drawing pensions and health benefits. Cost cutting plant closings and layoffs only seem to magnify GM's problems, creating a greater percentage of those drawing a GM check and benefits while not contributing to producing a product. That business model has made it impossible for ...

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