- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

Key economic developments Monday:

_ President Barack Obama offers billions of dollars in aid to small businesses _ “the heart of the American economy” _ in an aggressive push to get big banks that got federal bailout money to extend more loans to struggling entrepreneurs.

_ Obama blisters insurance giant AIG for “recklessness and greed.” He pledges to try to block the firm _ which accepted billions in federal bailout money _ from doling out $165 million in bonuses to executives.

_ New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo issues subpoenas for the names of AIG employees given millions in bonuses. He says the payments may have been fraudulent because the company promised to pay them at a time when it knew it wouldn’t have enough money to do so.

_ Wall Street’s big rally fizzles. After a four-session surge, the Dow Jones industrials slip about 7 points to 7,216.97.

_ Oil prices tumble to around $44 a barrel after OPEC decided over the weekend not to cut production levels.

_ The nation’s industrial output falls for the fourth straight month, with factories operating at their lowest level in six decades of record keeping.

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