Obama Pledges Bail-Out Cash to Save Homes, Not Wall St; an Invitation to Obama's Inauguration in Washington Next Week. There Are Five Kinds of Tickets, Depending on the Proximity to the Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL THOMPSON

FAMILIES faced with losing their home will be the first to benefit from a huge cash handout once Barack Obama is sworn in.

In requesting the second half of the $700 billion bail-out money agreed last month, Mr Obama said he will make a "fundamental change" to where the money goes.

Instead of it all going to Wall Street, which is what President Bush did with the first part of the cash, it will be diverted to help homeowners facing foreclosure and small businesses struggling in the economic climate.

An estimated 3,000 people a day face losing their homes as the credit crunch grips the US.

Mr Obama promised not to waste the second half of the bail-out package TARP the Trouble Asset Relief Programme.

Banks and other financial institutions have already received $350 billion, but Congressional leaders admitted they do not know exactly what the money has been used for.

Mr Obama said in handing over the remaining money he would ensure Congress were told where it was going.

The TARP fund has so far been used to bail out mostly ailing banks and car makers, and insurance and credit card companies, among others.

But many Americans are opposed to money being used to help banks whose greed and bad practices they blame for the downturn in the economy.

"My commitment is that we are going to fundamentally change some of the practices in this next stage of the program," said Mr Obama. …