The Clarion-Ledger, 12/8/8

Wall Street heads into another turbulent week today, with Congress still hammering out a bailout for automakers and investors having to digest more data expected to show the economic malaise deepening.

Investors received no respite to worries about the economy over the weekend, with President-elect Barack Obama declaring on Sunday that the situation is destined to get worse before it gets better. Major U.S. stock indexes fell last week after a series of economic reports left little indication that the recession is easing.

Chief among investors’ economic worries during the next few days will be the fate of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., and Chrysler LLC. The three automakers are seeking $15 billion in short-term aid from Washington to stave off bankruptcies that would lead to a flood of job losses.

Obtaining the aid might come in exchange for the heads of the companies’ top executives. Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said Sunday that Rick Wagoner, GM’s chief executive, “has to move on.” He also said Chrysler should give up its independence and be acquired by another company.