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1. Paulson: AIG Bailout Designed to be Punishment -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The 2008 government bailout of American International Group Inc. was specifically designed to punish the insurance giant, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in U.S. court Monday.

2. Debt Dispute Boils: Capitol's Hot, Inside and Out -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gridlock stubbornly held the high ground in the steamy capital Friday despite the threat of a government default in 11 days' time. Talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner seemed stuck in limbo, and the Democratic-controlled Senate scuttled legislation drawn to conservatives' specifications.

3. ‘Big 3’ Reflect Local Banking Scene -

One of the most famous aphorisms about politics is that all of it is local. Bankers and other inhabitants of the finance world know the same often goes for them too.

In the run-up to the recession, financial services firms like Citigroup and Bank of America raced to gobble each other up and built sprawling financial supermarkets.

4. Hedge Fund Manager Buys FHN Shares -

The hedge fund run by famed manager John Paulson bought 122,882 shares of First Tennessee Bank’s parent company during the third quarter.

5. Gold: Supply vs. Demand -

GOLD! Gold hit $1,300 an ounce last week. What is gold? Why is it valuable? What determines its value? What makes prices rise and fall? Good questions. Unfortunately, each answer is quite complicated. Unlike stocks or bonds, where the inputs into price and valuation remain pretty consistent (interest rates, earnings, sentiment, inflation), the inputs for gold seem to fluctuate. Ask five people why gold is climbing and you will likely get ten different answers. Let’s start with the fundamentals:

6. Geithner Draws Fire Defending Fed on AIG Bailout -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats and Republicans alike pummeled U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday over his role in the $180 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG Inc., venting public anger over Wall Street's return to prosperity while unemployment stands at 10 percent.

7. 3 Democrats – 2 Senators, 1 Governor – to Retire -

WASHINGTON (AP) - With the 2010 election year barely under way, two senators and one governor – all Democrats – ditched plans to run for re-election in the latest signs of trouble for President Barack Obama's party.

8. BofA Shares Jump after Exec, Hedge Fund Buy Shares -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Shares of Bank of America shot up Thursday as a new executive at the bank, as well as a prominent hedge-fund manager, decided to place big bets on the company by buying up blocks of shares.

9. Regions Financial Gains after Paulson Buys Shares -

NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of regional bank Regions Financial Corp. gained nearly 9 percent in afternoon trading Thursday after John Paulson's hedge fund purchase of 35 million shares, disclosed in a regulatory filing the day before, made Paulson & Co. the bank's No. 2 shareholder.

10. Democrat Resists Subpoenaing VIP Mortgage Records -

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democrats have declined to subpoena available records that might reveal whether other members of Congress got discounted VIP mortgages from subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. similar to the sweetheart deals given Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.

11. Paulson Defends His Response to Economic Crisis -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Wednesday defended his response to the economic crisis last year as an imperfect, but necessary rescue that spared the U.S. financial market from total collapse.

12. Hunke, Hillkirk Named to Top Posts at USA Today -

McLEAN, Va. (AP) - USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper, filled two top executive positions Tuesday by naming David Hunke as publisher and John Hillkirk as editor.

Hunke had been publisher of Gannett Co.'s Detroit Free Press and chief executive of the partnership that oversees that newspaper and The Detroit News. Hillkirk had been USA Today's executive editor.

13. Freddie Mac Appoints Interim CEO and Chairman -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Freddie Mac on Wednesday named an interim replacement for its chief executive, who is stepping down after six months on the job.

John Koskinen, a corporate restructuring expert who spent two years directing planning for the "Year 2000" computer conversion and also worked as the District of Columbia's chief administrator, will be the company's temporary top executive, replacing David Moffett, who announced last week he would resign by Friday.

14. Financial Services Forum Exec To Speak at U of M Symposium -

John Dearie, executive vice president for policy for the Financial Services Forum, will deliver the keynote speech at the University of Memphis Law Review 2009 Spring Symposium Friday.

Dearie’s speech is titled “Rethinking the U.S. Regulatory Structure Governing Financial Institutions: 21st Century Solutions for a 21st Century Marketplace.” Dearie will discuss the need for supervisory reform, the objectives of meaningful reform, the Paulson Treasury Blueprint for reform and the outlines of another potential reform option.

15. Obama Will Broaden Bailout Spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama's top economic adviser told congressional leaders Monday that the incoming president would broaden goals for using the remaining $350 billion financial bailout and insure transparency and oversight.

16. 3 Private Investors Seek to Buy IndyMac -

A trio of private investors – J.C. Flowers & Co., Dune Capital Management and Paulson & Co. – have teamed up in an effort to buy failed thrift IndyMac, a person familiar with the deal said Monday.

17. Bailout Approved: Automakers Get $17.4B -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Citing danger to the national economy, President Bush approved an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.

18. Democrats at Work to Tap Bailout for Automakers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Democrats are marshaling support for a rescue package to pump $25 billion in emergency loans to U.S. automakers in exchange for a government ownership stake in Detroit's car companies.

19. Worries Over Economy Spread; Global Markets Sink -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fears of recession are trumping fears of inflation.

A crucial barometer of inflation came in flat last month, temporarily halting Wall Street’s slide. But stocks seesawed in a wide range Thursday.

20. Alexander, Tuke Campaign With Velvet Gloves -

The only statewide election on the Nov. 4 ballot hasn’t featured any of the television attack ads that have saturated the local airwaves since last year’s congressional primary campaigns in North Mississippi. The wave crossed the state line and continued in the race to the August GOP congressional primary in Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District.

21. Bush, Paulson Say Economy’s Rebound Will Take Time -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy shot warning flares Wednesday that it was still in profound trouble despite the government’s latest financial rescue plan.

Wall Street noticed and shares sank on worries the U.S. was in a recession or soon would be in one. The market for lending between banks – a key gauge of the plan’s effectiveness – remained tight, although there were some signs of improvement.

22. Administration Ponders Bank Ownership Stakes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Bush administration is considering taking part ownership in certain U.S. banks as an option for dealing with a severe global credit crisis.

An administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no decision has been made, said the $700 billion rescue package passed by Congress last week allows the Treasury Department to inject fresh capital into financial institutions and get ownership shares in return.

23. Congress Leaders Optimistic On Revived Bailout -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional leaders talked optimistically of chances the Senate would pass the $700 billion financial industry bailout Wednesday night, but the message wasn’t resonating much with a still-skidding stock market by press time.

24. Area Reps. Split on Bailout Bill -

The Memphis area’s three U.S. representatives split along party lines in Monday’s House vote killing a $700 billion financial bailout bill.

Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen of Memphis and John Tanner of Union City voted for the plan. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Franklin voted no.

25. Shocking Defeat for Econ Bailout; Record Stock Dip -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a stunning vote that shocked the capital and worldwide markets, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation's financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive without it. The Dow Jones industrials plunged nearly 800 points, the most ever for a single day.

26. Financial Bailout Agreement Reached -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Warned of a possible financial panic, key Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle Thursday to a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.

27. Bailout: Accord on Chiefs' Pay, Bush on TV Tonight -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House bowed on a crucial change in the $700 billion financial bailout plan Wednesday, and President Bush readied a prime-time speech to the nation as the administration scrambled to pull loudly resistant lawmakers onboard and stave off a deepening economic crisis.

28. Paulson Urges Quick Action on $700B Bailout -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Bush administration insisted Sunday that Congress must move quickly to approve what one lawmaker called the “mother of all bailouts” – a $700 billion proposal to buy a mountain of bad mortgage debt in an effort to unfreeze the nation’s credit markets.

29. McCain Says Fed Should Stop Government Bailouts -

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Republican John McCain said Friday the Federal Reserve needs to stop bailing out failed financial institutions.

The Republican presidential hopeful said the Fed should get back to "its core business of responsibly managing our money supply and inflation" and he laid out several recommendations for stabilizing markets in the financial crisis that has rocked Wall Street and commanded the dialogue in the presidential campaign.

30. Bush Says Government Role Essential to Ease Crisis -

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Friday asked Congress to approve extensive federal intervention in financial markets that he said is both warranted and essential to halt the worst financial crisis in decades. "We must act now," he said.

31. Fed, Central Banks Move to Boost Global Confidence -

NEW YORK (AP) - The worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression forced the Federal Reserve and central banks in other countries to pump billions of dollars into the world's banking system in an urgent bid to stop further damage.

32. Congress Weighs Fate of Fannie, Freddie -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Congress should view the next few months as a “time out” in the highly charged debate over what to do with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

33. House OKs Rescue for Homeowners, Freddie, Fannie -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rescue legislation sailed through the House on Wednesday aimed at helping 400,000 strapped homeowners avoid foreclosure and preventing the collapse of troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

34. Bush Drops Opposition to Housing Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush dropped his opposition Wednesday to a broad housing package aimed at bolstering the sagging economy, despite his objections to including $3.9 billion for neighborhoods hit hardest by foreclosures. The House was expected to vote on the bill Wednesday, and it could become law as early as this week.

35. Reality Trumps Ideology In Fannie-Freddie Rescue -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Odd alliances are at work as President Bush and congressional Democrats band together to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The push to reassure markets that the mortgage giants are financially healthy has thrust Republicans – who have never liked the idea of government-sponsored mortgage companies – into the arms of Democrats, who long have championed Fannie’s and Freddie’s mission of helping low- and middle-income Americans buy homes.

36. Fannie, Freddie Spent Millions On Lobbying -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For years, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac tenaciously worked to nurture, and then protect, their financial empires by invoking the political sacred cow of homeownership and fielding an army of lobbyists, power brokers and political contributors.

37. Fannie, Freddie Rescue Pushes Housing Aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A foreclosure aid plan that was facing a sluggish trip through Congress has a powerful new engine behind it: the Bush administration's urgent request to rescue mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

38. Mortgage Industry Group Says Loan Workouts Grow to 1 million; Critics say Efforts Fall Short -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A banking industry group says lenders have helped more than 1 million troubled borrowers from last July through January, though critics say the response to the mortgage mess falls short.

39. House Passes Economic Recovery Package -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House, seizing a rare moment of bipartisanship to respond to the economy's slump, overwhelmingly passed a $146 billion aid package Tuesday that would speed rebates of $600-$1,200 to most taxpayers.

40. Deal Announced For Tax Rebates, Business Breaks -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children, according to the latest information available by press time.

41. House Leaders, PaulsonNegotiate on Stimulus Bill -      Top House leaders and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Wednesday tallied the cost of measures to jolt the economy out of its slump as the three sought a swift bipartisan deal on a recovery package that could move through

42. Republicans, Democrats at Odds Over Paying for Middle-Class Tax Relief -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans say it's OK not to cover the $50 billion in revenue losses from Congress' annual alternative minimum tax fix to save millions of families from higher taxes - even as the GOP president counts on revenues from that higher levy to reduce the red ink in his budget.

43. Bush Mortgage Plan Will Freeze Certain Subprime Interest Rates for 5 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) - One wag has called it the "teaser freezer." But whatever the name, it is going to mean relief for thousands of homeowners facing a painful jump in their mortgage rates in coming months.

44. Report Finds Higher Rejection Rates for Home Mortgages in 2006 -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Applicants for home mortgages were turned down for loans at a slightly higher rate in 2006 than the previous year and significant disparities continued to exist between white applicants and minority applicants, the government reported Wednesday.

45. Archived Article: Memos - Fred's Inc names Reier president John Reier has been named president of Freds Inc., effective May 1. He formerly was president and chief operating officer at Family Dollar Stores Inc. Reier also previously served as senior vice president of merchand...