Bailout negotiators have been struggling with the American people's sticker shock in the face of the $700 billion price tag. But Wall Street has already assumed that that much money is coming and has priced it in. Any less could result in a sell-off and panic; the point of the bailout is to avoid just that.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), following a meeting witht the principal negotiators, said that there is a way to do both -- to assure Wall Street that the full $700 billion is available but also to write the legislation so that it doesn't appear like a gigantic, one-time wire-transfer of public funds from the treasury to Manhattan.
Asked by The Crypt if there was a way that the bill could be written so that negotiators could have it "both ways" with the $700 billion, Frank said yes.
"Really, that’s the task, to make clear that there will be up to $700 billion, as is prudent and necessary, over a certain time period. I think we’ve come up with a way that meets both those objectives. The details of how that arrangement will look and work will be released shortly, he said.