COMMENTS: The Wall Street Submarine

The shock to the financial markets resulting from the defeat of the bailout plan was recounted by ABC's Betsy Stark and CBS' Anthony Mason with their tick-tocks from Wall Street. "The Dow went down like a sub," was how Mason put it as soon as the vote failed. He checked off United Airlines and General Motors as the largest in a list of 160 corporations that are in danger of defaulting on their debt within the next six months. Wachovia, the North Carolina bank, has already been forced to sell out to New York's Citigroup. Stark saw "the incredible spectacle of traders counting votes along with the leaders in Congress." She shrugged: "Everybody got slaughtered today."

Oddly NBC, which usually uses CNBC's resources to lead the way with financial coverage, did not file a separate package on the Wall Street angle. It chose a political take instead, assigning CNBC's Carl Quintanilla to continue its Where They Stand issues series, contrasting the platforms of the two Presidential candidates. Quintanilla's topic was unemployment: there are now 9.4m out of work nationwide, a total that has increased for eight straight months, a jobless rate that now stands at a five year high. "The country braces for difficult years ahead," Quintanilla warned. Barack Obama recommends a boost to domestic spending on infrastructure and a tightening of NAFTA trade rules. John McCain sides with fewer constraints on trade and more retraining of displaced workers.


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