Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson backed away from buying troubled mortgage assets with the $700 billion bailout fund, favoring instead a broader use of the money, including more capital injections into financial institutions.
The announcement marked a major shift for the administration, which had talked only about purchasing troubled assets as it lobbied Congress in October to pass the massive bailout bill.
Paulson said the administration will continue to use $250 billion of the program to purchase stock in banks as a way to bolster their balance sheets and encourage them to resume more normal lending.
But he said a new goal for the program is to support financial markets, which supply consumer credit in such areas as credit card debt, auto loans and student loans.
Clearly the Treasury Secretary wants broader use of the $700 bailout. Considering the auto industry appears to be in serious straights some pundits suggest that a portion of the money should go to help GM and Ford.
And others say the money should be used to stimulate the economy with more rebate checks.
And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you agree with the way the Treasury is handling the bailout?
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CNBC.com with wires