A bailout bill that pleases no one

Hours away from passing a landmark bill, Congressional representatives dither and the stock market tanks

Published September 29, 2008 3:27PM (EDT)

After what is likely to be a lively few hours of debate the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bailout bill by the early afternoon Monday. The expectation is that the measure will pass, but the question is, by how much? Will the Democratic Congressional leadership be hung out to dry by House Republicans rebelling against the "crap sandwich" served to them by their own party? Will Democrats in tight races bridle against handing more power to the Bush administration to rescue Wall Street fat cats?

Financial markets are tense, exacerbated by the news that Wachovia had been forced to sell itself to Citigroup. Overnight, Asian stock markets were not reassured by the news that a bailout deal had been hammered out, and in New York, the early trading confirmed the anxiety. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost 300 points just two hours after the opening bell, on "fears that the plan to bail out U.S. financial markets might not be enough to stave off more bank failures," reported the Wall Street Journal.

Chew on that, for a second. $700 billion might not be enough.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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