Bush, Congress Negotiate $700 Billion Bailout

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Work continues on a massive government intervention plan to rescue financial institutions by buying up their bad assets.

Treasury officials met with congressional staffers for about two hours on Capitol Hill Saturday. Discussions centered on how the $700-billion plan would work.

Democrats want to help more strapped borrowers stay in their homes and want to condition the bailout on new limits on pay for executives.

President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson conferred by phone Saturday afternoon, gauging how the negotiations were unfolding.

Among the key issues up for negotiation is which financial institutions would be eligible for the help. For instance, could hedge funds and pension funds qualify?

The White House is hoping for a deal by the time markets open Monday. Top lawmakers say they'll push to enact the plan in a matter of days.

As a point of interest: if you started counting now at the rate of one number a second, it would take you more than 31 years to reach a billion.

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