White House takes on bad bank assets

March 24, 2009 02:02


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The Obama administration took on America's lending paralysis, announcing its plan Monday to take over up to $1 trillion in sour mortgage securities with help from private investors. Major stock indicators surged more than 6 percent, but the program still could face some resistance from a bailout-weary public and lawmakers, and from wary investors. It debuts after a week of Wall Street-bashing in Congress, where lawmakers were outraged over troubled insurance company American International Group Inc. paying $165 million in bonuses after taking billions in government rescue funds to stay afloat. President Barack Obama told reporters Monday his economic team was "very confident" the rescue plan would work and that taxpayers would share both in the upside of the plan as well as the burden of any losses. The goal, Obama said, is to get banks lending again, so "families can get basic consumer loans, auto loans, student loans, (and so) that small businesses are able to finance themselves, and we can start getting this economy moving again."

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