This is not the news we were hoping to hear - and yet it's perfectly predictable. From Tuesday's WSJ:
The U.S. government's financial-system rescue plans are coming under pressure as a growing array of distressed companies signal the need for assistance. On Monday, mortgage giant Fannie Mae said it is losing money so rapidly it may need a cash infusion from the Treasury Department by year's end. The company lost $29 billion in the third quarter. Also Monday, American Express Co. obtained Federal Reserve approval to become a bank holding company, giving the credit-card company access to cheap financing from the central bank.
General Motors Corp., which has been lobbying heavily for government aid, said Monday it might violate the terms of some of its debt by the end of the year if it can't steady its finances. That could cripple the auto maker's ability to continue operating. The company's shares fell Monday to their lowest level since 1946. The chorus of calls for help could pressure the Bush administration to widen the scope of its $700 billion bailout plan, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was authorized in October. Treasury officials have refused so far to open TARP to U.S. car makers, despite lobbying from Congress to do so.
What a mess.