Bank didn't foresee 'significant deterioration' in December. Merrill Lynch deal weighs on its future.
Wealthy countries seek land in Cambodia, Madagascar, and Brazil.
Although commodity prices for a wide range of crops have fallen by as much as 50 percent from record highs in June, the financial crisis is expected to make food shortages dramatically worse.
The money will go to unfreeze mortgage and consumer lending.
Retail sales plunge a record 2.8 percent in October, suggesting a dismal outlook for holiday spending.
Even without plunging auto and gasoline sales, October's rate was still -0.5 percent – a gloomy sign for holiday shopping.
Obama vows action as jobless rate jumps to 6.5 percent.
Early reluctance is giving way as hundreds prepare to apply before the deadline.
The country's first dairy cooperative has helped farmers more than double their incomes.
The central bank plans to buy debt directly from companies for the first time in decades.