Bond Kit Bond
Boasting About The Stimulus
Which He Voted Against
While Touting Missouri
A Swiss Bank Is Set to Open Its Secret Files
By LYNNLEY BROWNING
Published: February 18, 2009
In the hush-hush world of Swiss banking, the unthinkable is happening: secrets are spilling into the open.
UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, agreed on Wednesday to divulge the names of well-heeled Americans whom the authorities suspect of using offshore accounts at the bank to evade taxes. The bank admitted conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to settle a sweeping federal investigation into its activities.
It is unclear how many of its clients’ names UBS will divulge. Federal prosecutors have been examining about 19,000 accounts at the bank, but UBS ultimately may disclose the identities of only a few hundred customers.
Pakistani Accord Appears Stalled
Government, Extremists Make No Move To Formalize Their Pact on Islamic Law
By Pamela Constable, Karen DeYoung and Haq Nawaz Khan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, February 19, 2009; Page A09
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 18 — A controversial, closely watched peace agreement designed to end Taliban violence in the scenic Swat Valley hung in limbo Wednesday amid criticism in Pakistan and rising concern in Washington.
Neither the Pakistani government nor the Islamist extremists were willing to formalize the accord, announced by Pakistani officials Monday. The proposed pact marks an unprecedented and risky attempt to disarm about 2,000 Taliban fighters, who have invaded and terrorized a once-bucolic area of 1.5 million people in northwestern Pakistan, by offering to install a strict system of Islamic law in the surrounding district.
Obama Proposes Package To Stave Off Foreclosures
Multibillion-Dollar Plan Aims to Help Modify Mortgages
By Michael D. Fletcher and Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 19, 2009; Page A01
MESA, Ariz., Feb. 18 — President Obama unveiled a foreclosure-prevention package Wednesday that would pour more than $75 billion into arresting one of the root causes of the nation’s economic spiral by helping as many as 9 million homeowners obtain more affordable mortgage terms.The package, part of the Obama administration’s multibillion-dollar effort to jolt the nation out of its deepening recession, goes beyond what some analysts had expected and was welcomed by many of the nation’s top lending institutions. But it also drew criticism from some housing experts and consumer advocates, who argued that it does not go far enough in addressing some critical aspects of the foreclosure crisis. Many key details of the plan will not be released until early next month.