NPR logo Durable Goods Grow, Slightly. Plus: GMAC Seeks Third Round Of Help

Durable Goods Grow, Slightly. Plus: GMAC Seeks Third Round Of Help

Good morning. Here's what we're reading on a rainy Wednesday in New York:

Orders for durable goods ticked up by 1 percent in September, the Commerce Department reports. The fourth increase in six months is a sign that consumers may be ready to at least consider buying big items like washing machines again.

Government bailouts of banks would be paid for by surviving rivals — and the management of failing banks would get the boot — under a plan pushed by the Obama administration and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Shareholders at foundering firms would lose out, as would unsecured creditors.

GMAC Financial Services may get as much as $5.6 billion more in aid from the U.S. Treasury as it seeks to pile up enough dollars to meet the capital cushion mandated after government stress tests this year. The government would likely take more stock in the Detroit-based company — it already owns 35 percent of GMAC, which would become the only firm to get a third round of assistance.

Calculated Risk says there's talk that Congress will extend and expand a tax break for home buyers. Baseline Scenario argues that's a bad idea.

Bill and Melinda Gates tell NPR about their thinking on the economics of global health aid.

Treasury pay czar Kenneth Feinberg cut total compensation in half for the seven bailed-out firms he oversees, but he raised salaries by an average of 14 percent, says the Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd.).

Meanwhile, the European Union has approved a deal to split the nationalized Northern Rock into a "good" bank and a "bad" one. The plan is to sell the good one and let the bad one wind down operations.

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