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At left, the House's vote; at right, President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson shaking hands; both photographs from the AP

Quickly after the House of Representatives passed the $700 billion bailout package, President Bush signed H.R. 1424 into law, authorizing "the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions; provides Alternative Minimum Tax relief; extends expiring tax provisions and establishes energy tax incentives; and temporarily increases Federal Deposit Insurance limits."

Bush tried to reassure the Americans "who have concerns about this legislation, especially about the government's role and the bill's cost," by saying he believed the "ultimate" would be much less when assets recover. He added:

Americans should also expect that it will take some time for this legislation to have its full impact on our economy. Exercising the authorities in this bill in a responsible way will require a careful analysis and deliberation. This will be done as expeditiously as possible, but it cannot be accomplished overnight. We'll take the time necessary to design an effective program that achieves its objectives -- and does not waste taxpayer dollars.

The NY Times says that the stakes are high for the Treasury Department, as it has "barely a month to get" what will essentially be "one of the world's largest asset management firms" "up and running." The Wall Street Journal explains, "Treasury faces a host of complex questions it must answer before it can roll out the program broadly. Among the biggest issues: which assets to buy, how to buy the assets and whom to buy the assets from." More details on which lawmakers switched votes here--of the four New York representatives who voted no, only one switched to a yea, Republican Randy Kuhl.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones fell 157 points, after the Labor Department revealed 159,000 jobs were eliminated in September, the "fastest pace in five years," making this the worst week for the stock market in seven years. And Warren Buffett says the rescue bill is not a "panacea" for the economy.