October 18, 1990 – A day of scandals and war-fever. However, staring off the day with some good news – The Labor Department announced that consumer prices had rises 8.10% in September, for an annual 6.6% inflation rate was good news for the nation’s 40 million senior citizens. The news would determine the size of the cost of living adjustment that would show up in their January Social Security checks.
That was the good news – For the rest of it – Capitol Hill was awash in budget debate as the countdown to crisis in the Treasury was some 38 hours. The previous day was spent wrangling over two killer amendments that would have scuttled the deficit-reducing budget bill. Urges to not abandon the bi-partisan spirit of the measure were being voiced all over, and Senators trudged back this morning for more.
The saga of Charles Keating was rearing up again. This time in the form of documents obtained and reported by The Associated Press and The New York Times. They showed more extensive dealings than previously acknowledged by three Senators and Charles Keating who, as may remember, was the owner of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan bank. The Ethics Committee documents were expected to play a major role in the panel’s inquiry, which was expected to begin this day, into efforts on Keatings behalf by Senators Alan Cranston, Dennis DiConcini and Donald Riegle. FYI: Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of $3.4 billion to the federal government (and thus taxpayers). Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many investors lost their life savings. The substantial political contributions Keating had made to each of the senators, totaling $1.3 million, attracted considerable public and media attention. After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB’s investigation of Lincoln Savings, with Cranston receiving a formal reprimand. Senators Glenn and McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised “poor judgment”.
And at the UN – Diplomats disclosed that five permanent Security members had reached general agreement on a draft resolution that would require Iraq to pay for damages stemming from its invasion of Kuwait. It was scheduled for presentation later on this day to the 10 other members.
And that’s a little of what happened on this rather fractured and busy Thursday, October 18th in 1990, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.