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US Treasury bail-out plan hits the rocks

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WASHINGTON, DC – After beginning with so much promise and expectations that a deal would be reached, the meeting at the White House to discuss the $700 billion troubled asset relief plan penned by Treasury secretary Henry Paulson descended into what newspaper reports are describing as a shouting match between participants. Paulson was alleged to have begged Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives, not to disclose how badly the meeting went.

Republican right-wingers have been blamed for baulking at the large price tag for the deal at the last minute, while presidential candidate senator John McCain was derided for refusing to take a stand.

Barney Frank, a chairman of the Financial Services Committee, criticised the Republicans’ last-minute opposition to the plan and submission of a rival plan that, rather than buying up illiquid mortgage assets, would provide insurance.

Talks ended at 10:30pm last night, with plans to begin again this morning.

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