Bailout focus changes; GM trying to sell assets; Wal-Mart report mixed

| Thursday, November 13, 2008

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has decided the government will not use billions of dollars in taxpayer money to buy up bad mortgages as originally planned.

Instead, The Wall Street Journal reported that Paulson will focus on buying stock in troubled banks as well as providing some relief to regular Americans who are struggling with student loans, auto loans or credit cards.

Congress is urging Paulson to also help homeowners who are facing foreclosure, but no plan is yet in place.

In other economic news, General Motors, which is hoping for a big taxpayer bailout, is trying to sell off $4 billion worth of its assets – including the Hummer division – to make ends meet.

But Bloomberg reported that potential buyers are concerned the assets will lose value if GM goes bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart reported a 10 percent increase in its third quarter earnings, but trimmed its profit forecast for the year.