Bailout "Moving Forward"

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Hey guess what? Nothing's happened yet. Thought we'd be super helpful and point that out. Continuing to be sheeple, here's something else that should already be obvious: the clock is ticking! Congressional leaders led by Barney Frank, Republican Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire "locked themselves in a room" starting at 3 today and Gregg told the Journal "once we get into that room we are going to stay there until we have an agreement." Apparently the "agreement" had less to do the bailout and whether or not to make "Seersucker Thursday" mandatory (they decided yes), because those participating are said to be currently "taking a break" and we do not yet have anything re: rescue package. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid both expressed "hope" that an outline of the plan can be released by tomorrow. According to CNBC, there have been "dramatic improvements" to the original plan. The new version calls for:

* Cutting in half the $700 billion requested and requiring congressional approval for future payments
* Protection for taxpayers, including reimbursement through ownership shares and asset recovery as the plan begins to work
* Limits on executive compensation -- no multimillion-dollar golden parachutes, recovery of bonuses paid based on promised gains, shareholder vote on executive compensation for companies participating in the financial rescue
* Ability of government to purchase troubled assets from pension plans, local governments, and small banks that serve low- and middle-income families
* Transparency requirements, including a provision that transactions be posted online
* Helping small businesses that need credit by allowing small community banks to deduct losses from investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stocks

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