Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wall Street bailout plan: US officials reach tentative deal on USD 700 bln

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (KUNA) -- Top US officials and lawmakers say they have made "great progress" on a tentative deal for a USD 700 billion bailout plan for financial institutions.

After a marathon session of negotiations on Capitol Hill, congressional leaders emerged with an agreement just after midnight Sunday.

The new plan has to be reviewed by House Republicans, who have fiercely opposed the proposal that would allow the government to buy up bad mortgage-debts and take over devalued assets from banks and other financial firms in the hopes of unlocking frozen credit, currently threatening the countrys financial markets.

"We've made great progress," said Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives speaker.

"Weve still got more to do to finalize it, but I think were there," said US Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who participated in the talks on Capitol Hill.

The White House welcomed the news of a deal, according to spokesman, Tony Fratto saying: "Were pleased with the progress tonight and appreciate the bipartisan effort to stabilize our financial markets and protect our economy." A vote on the deal could be held in the House of Representatives today, with negotiators hoping to boost market confidence before they reopen on Monday. Democrat and Republican lawmakers have struggled to come to an agreement over the details of the plan.
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