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Monday, January 26, 2009

Morning's Top Stories (Jan 26 '09)

This is something I may try to make a regular (dare I say daily?) feature: a few links regarding top/interesting news stories.  Here's what I see as today's top stories, based on my own interests and media sources:

  • The Senate votes later today on Pres Obama's nominess for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geither.  He appeared before the Senate Finance Committee last Wednesday, with the committee voting 18-5 recommending confirmation.  If you're very interested in this story, here is a blog post about part of Geithner's 102 (!) pages of written responses to the Finance Committee.  More briefly, here are the first few paragraphs of a CNN Money summary from yesterday:

The Senate is set to meet Monday evening to vote on Tim Geithner's nomination as the next Treasury Secretary. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has said he expects to hold a vote at 6 p.m. ET.

Geithner is expected to easily win confirmation from the Democratic-controlled Senate. Democrats on Capitol Hill have spoken of the need to quickly confirm Geithner, who will spearhead President Obama's response to the financial crisis that threatens to unravel economic growth around the globe.

Reid warned Friday that Republicans "would not be very wise politically" to try to hold up the nomination, which last week won the support of all the Democrats and half the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee. He added that Democrats could block any attempt to filibuster.
On Thursday, the committee recommended in an 18-5 vote that the full Senate confirm the appointment of Geithner, who is currently president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to succeed Henry Paulson.
Much has been written about Geithner since Obama somewhat surprised by nominating him back in November.  I've saved a bunch of what's been written about him--I'll get around to posting sometime over the next few weeks, since, assuming the confirmation goes through today, we'll be hearing a lot from and about Geithner over the next couple years.

  • The situation with the banking system continues to be very dicey; the latest debate is over outright nationalization.  This debate has been raging among economists and other commentators in the blogopshere, occasionally bubbling up into the mainstream media.  There is a News Analysis piece on the front page of this morning's NYT:

Nationalization Gets a New, Serious Look
NYT, January 25, 2009

Go here for excerpts from and summary of the above, and here for a list of about 20 links to blog posts from the last few weeks about bank nationalization.

  • Finally, the big news on the business pages is a good old traditional M&A: Pfizer is going to acquire Wyeth.  This is quite a big deal, both in the literal sense--Pfizer is paying ~$68bn for Wyeth; and in a figurative sense--some $22bn of that purchase price is being provided as credit by a consortium of five banks. This story also made the front page of the NYT, but for the sake of variety, here is this morning's WSJ article:

Pfizer to Pay $68 Billion for Wyeth 
WSJ, January 26, 2009

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