The architects of the original plan, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and U.S. Federal ReserveChairman Ben Bernanke, rushed to Capitol Hill for late night meetings to urge House Republicans to getback on track."It is critical that this legislation get done quickly," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "We haveserious concerns about the state of our credit markets."U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said a deal could take beyond Friday toreach and took a firm swipe at McCain, who returned from his presidential campaign to try to broker adeal."What this looked like to me was
a rescue plan for John McCain for two hours
," Dodd told CNN. "Tobe distracted for two to three hours for political theater doesn't help."INJECTION OF POLITICSAlso speaking to CNN, Obama said of McCain's involvement, "The concern that I have ... is that whenyou start injecting presidential politics into delicate negotiations then you can actually create moreproblems rather than less."Earlier, news that a deal was near stabilized beleaguered money markets, frozen by a reluctance bybanks to lend. The rate on one-month U.S. Treasury bills shot higher as traders unwound safe-haventrades.Still, officials from France to China voiced alarm."A crisis of confidence without precedent is shaking the global economy," French President NicolasSarkozy said in a speech in Toulon, France.As Thursday's meeting began, Bush warned, "We're in a serious economic crisis in the country if we don'tpass a piece of legislation."U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Financial Services Committee,said before the Bush meeting that the deal would give the money to the U.S. Treasury in installmentsrather than a $700 billion lump sum the Bush administration wanted.The enormity of the deal, which would cost every man, woman and child in the United States about$2,300, led many lawmakers to ask Paulson during two days of rancorous hearings this week to take thecash in installments.
The bailout exceeds total lending by the International Monetary Fund since its inception after World War II. The IMF has loaned $506.7 billion since 1947
to countries in crisis as far flung asArgentina, Britain, Turkey and South Korea.Frank also said
the deal would allow the government to take part-ownership of banks and bancompanies that sell toxic assets to the government from paying massive "golden parachutes" toexecutives
being fired.Reflecting that the current crisis appears to be the most serious since the Great Depression of the 1930s,fresh Federal Reserve data showed
U.S. banks and money managers have borrowed a record $188billion daily in recent days from the Fed -- a daily amount roughly equal to Argentina's annualeconomic output.