Lawmakers and the Bush administration are trying to resolve differences over the legislation that would authorize the Treasury to buy $700 billion in bad assets and hold them until they could be sold at a later date.
On the Democrats' wish list: assistance to homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages, curbs on executive pay at companies that use the program to unload toxic assets, and the government taking equity stakes in banks that use the program. Markets suspect the debate could drag into next week.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stressed the dire consequences of failing to move quickly on the plan. "Action by Congress is urgently required to stabilize the situation and avert what could otherwise be very serious consequences for our financial markets and our economy," Bernanke said in remarks prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee.
He said global financial markets "remain under extraordinary stress."
And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you think the government should bail out Wall Street now, and deal with assistance to homeowners later?
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CNBC.com with wires