Sure, as the NY Times reports, "Bailout Talks Advance" between Congress and the Bush administration over the $700 billion financial institutions bailout. But the two sides have differences of opinions on things like executive pay, reducing "mortgage payments of borrowers facing foreclosure," and whether the taxpayers should get a stake in companies the U.S. bails out. The Wall Street Journal also details some of the issues with the plan, from both Republicans and Democrats.
All this is bickering has stock futures flat as Asian markets slid. UBS director of floor operations Art Cashin told CNBC, "[Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke needs to get the Academy Award. He has to keep Congress' feet to the fire by talking very somber yet do it without frightening and inflaming markets that are very volatile now." Well, in prepared remarks Bernanke will make today to the Senate Banking Committee, he's going to tell Congress the bailout package must be passed quickly because global markets are under "extraordinary stress" and they must "avert what otherwise could be very serious consequences for our financial markets and for our economy."
Paulson also will tell Congress, "We saw market turmoil reach a new level last week, and spill over into the rest of the economy. We must now take further, decisive action to fundamentally and comprehensively address the root cause of this turmoil."