US traders wary over bailout vote

American and European stocks down as investors await second vote on rescue plan.

    George Bush said the state of the US economy demands the bailout be approved [AFP]

    However, some on Wall Street were sceptical about the bill's chances after Monday's surprise rejection by the House of Representatives.

    Paul Mendelsohn, a chief investment strategist at Windham financial services in Charlotte, Vermont, said: "I'm not betting on anything here because I don't know what the House is going to do. If this bill doesn't pass in the House, it's game over."

    Europe summit

    Despite early gains on Thursday, most markets in Europe closed down following the falls in New York.

    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, announced that he was to hold a European financial summit to discuss the current global crisis in Paris on Saturday.

    Those attending will include Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and Jean-Claude Trichet, the European central bank (ECB) president.

    Earlier the ECB had kept the Eurozone interest rate at 4.25 per cent, resisting pressure for a cut.

    Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said that the era of US global economic dominance was over and the world now needed a new and "more just" financial system.

    Addressing a Russian-German development forum in St Petersburg, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, at his side, Medvedev said: "The time of domination by one economy and one currency has been consigned to the past once and for all."

    Wrong bill

    All eyes are now on Washington where the House of Representatives will vote on the latest bailout proposal on Friday.

    Speaking after Wednesday's senate vote, Harry Reid, the senate Democratic leader, said he expected the House to approve the bill.

    George Bush, the US president, said the state of the US economy demanded the package be approved.

    "The American people expect - and our economy demands - that the House pass this good bill this week and send it to my desk," Bush said in a statement.

    Opponents say they are concerned about handing that much power to one man, and reject the idea of using taxpayer money to rescue disgraced Wall Street firms.

    Maya Rockeymoore, an analyst from Global Policy Solutions, told Al Jazeera that the bill was "tilted towards Wall Street" and that it did not do enough to aid the millions facing home foreclosures as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis.

    "There are many people that believe this is not the bill that the United States needs," she said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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