Treasury Extends Deadline for Toxic Asset Program

The government is extending the deadline for private fund managers to apply to participate in the administration's program to purchase distressed assets from banks.

The Treasury Department says it will extend the deadline by two weeks until April 24. Department officials also say fund managers will not have to satisfy all three criteria released last month to participate in the program, which provides government capital and guarantees to spur purchases of the toxic assets.

The assets are weighing down banks' balance sheets and making them reluctant to lend. Treasury officials say they are taking the steps in response to public comments the department received.