President Bush’s multi-billion bail-out plan has been adopted by the US Congress. Eyeing the stock markets and their election chances in November,
the lower House of Representatives voted for the bill at the second attempt: they had rejected it on Monday. But following the Senate’s positive vote yesterday and intense lobbying by its supporters, the bail-out was passed by 254 votes to 166.
Several congressmen, mainly Republicans but also some Democrats, refused to be convinced by the bill, saying it would not solve the fundamental problems of the US and the world economies.
The bill now goes to the White House to be signed into law by President Bush.
The revised bill was sweetened with tax breaks and more deposit insurance to entice mainly-Republican doubters. The roughly-400 billion euro package will be used to buy up so-called toxic debt, and to shore up confidence in the system.
400 billion euros is almost equal to the GDP of the Netherlands, and is almost what Washington has spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.