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Administration Seeks an Out On Bailout Rules for Firms
Officials Worry Constraints Set by Congress Deter Participation
By Amit R. Paley and David Cho
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, April 4, 2009; Page A01
The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.
Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.
The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.
Porsche Finds Fortune From Unlikely Outsourcing
By CARTER DOUGHERTY
Published: April 3, 2009
UUSIKAUPUNKI, FINLAND – Outsourcing to less-expensive places like India, China, Taiwan and Eastern Europe became routine for many American and Western European companies over the past decade. But what’s Porsche doing in Finland?
Since 1997, Porsche, the German sports car manufacturer, has headed north to this tongue-twister of a Finnish town instead of east, a move that helps explain why it is still making money even as so many automakers are tapping government aid to weather the worst industry downturn in a generation.
During the fat years, Valmet Automotive cranked out thousands of cars in Uusikaupunki to supplement Porsche’s production in Germany. Now, the assembly lines here are slowing, which means that Valmet, rather than Porsche, is bearing much of the burden of the global auto industry’s distress.
Shootings in Binghamton, N.Y., ‘truly an American tragedy’
13 are slain at a crowded immigration services center. The gunman also killed himself, authorities believe. Evidence may point to Jiverly Wong or Jiverly Voong, formerly of Southern California.
By Geraldine Baum and Anna Gorman
10:55 PM PDT, April 3, 2009
Reporting from Los Angeles and Binghamton, N.Y. — For immigrants in chilly Binghamton, the doorway to America opens through the friendly building on Front Street. But Friday, the American Civic Assn. — a place crowded with recent arrivals taking English classes and citizenship exams — became a killing zone.
A gunman barricaded the back door of the immigration services center with a car, thwarting escape, then entered through the front door. Opening fire, he killed 13 people and seriously wounded four others before apparently committing suicide.
Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the gunman gave no warning. “I don’t think there was any conversation,” he said.
As the gunman entered the building, he killed one receptionist and shot another in the stomach. She pretended to be dead, hiding under a table and waiting for a chance to call 911, while he moved down the hall. In a nearby room he opened fire on a group taking a citizenship class.
Police arrived less than two minutes after receiving the receptionist’s call at 10:31 a.m., Zikuski said. Amid the carnage, they found a body believed to be the shooter’s, along with two handguns, body armor, ammunition and a magazine. He apparently shot himself.