BUSINESS

Big Bailouts: Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae, Offshore Drilling, 150 Banks Could Fail

07/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

***UPDATE*** 1:29pm: Bush has lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling.

Today's financial headlines tell a story of a nation in bailout mode. Beyond the oil and mortgage crisis that the government is attempting to act on, The New York Times says analysts are predicting 150 banks might falter in the coming months. Read the excerpts below.

In another push to deal with soaring gas prices, President Bush on Monday will lift an executive ban on offshore drilling that his stood since his father was president. But the move, by itself, will do nothing unless Congress acts as well.

The president plans to officially lift the ban and then explain his actions in a Rose Garden statement, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

Scrambling to bolster eroding investor confidence, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced unprecedented steps to brace slumping mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The companies' shares, which have plunged as losses from their mortgage holdings threatened their financial survival, opened higher Monday. Fannie Mae rose 27 cents to $10.53, while Freddie Mac climbed 34 cents to $8.08.

As home prices continue to decline and loan defaults mount, federal regulators are bracing for dozens of American banks to fail over the next year.

But after a large mortgage lender in California collapsed late Friday, Wall Street analysts began posing two crucial questions: Just how many banks might falter? And, more urgently, which one could be next?

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