The failing banking industry in America stands on a knife edge as it awaits the go-ahead of a $700bn bailout from the US government, designed to reverse the trend of falling stock value and market confidence.
Much of the controversy that has surrounded the mooted $700bn has arisen due to the US Presidential contest. In a bid not to alienate tax payers and voters, on whom the onus would fall to cover the cheque, the Republican party, who had previously strongly advocated the move, has appeared more reserved in judgement. Over an issue that has angered many US citizens, Republican candidate John McCain fears an electoral backlash that could damage his standing in the polls. Such a nascent backlash was already in evidence after his repeated refusal to attend the Oxford, Mississippi debate with Barack Obama. He cited a desire to focus on the economic crisis in Washington. His lack of a substantive role in the bailout deal led to accusations of grand-standing, and the subsequent U-turn that culminated in the televised debate going ahead as planned.
The Bailout is the latest event to catch the headlines in the recent financial crisis. The Boar considers the wider crisis, and the direction we should take from this point, on page seven.
Last week’s debate, the first in a series of three, focused heavily on the banking crisis, wider economy, and foreign policy. The debate was claimed as a victory by both sides, McCain emphasising Obama’s relative juniority and lack of experience ; Obama continued to tie McCain to the policies of incumbent George Bush. The economic crisis, having been presided over by a Republican administration, stood in Obama’s favour, and the polls seem to reflect this. Whilst generally considered to be a draw, certain post-debate polls posited that Obama had managed to produce a slight advantage. CNN announced that fifty-one percent of viewers believed Obama to have won, against thirty-eight percent for McCain.
Both candidates agree over the necessity of a rescue package for the banking Industry, yet it remains to be seen who will ultimately appear the most convincing vis-à-vis the economy, a matter of great importance, given the certain prospect of the next administration’s inheritance of the crisis.
The next presidential debate is on Thursday, between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin.