Paulson, Bernanke: Pass It Now, Or Else

Fed Chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson have just released their written testimony ahead of their 9:30 hearing before Chris Dodd's Senate Banking Committee. SEC chairman Christopher Cox and housing official James Lockhart.

Nothing particularly new -- but grim, grim, grim.

"If financial conditions fail to improve for a protracted period, the implications for the broader economy could be quite adverse," Bernanke said in his prepared for the panel.

"We must do so in order to avoid a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets that threaten the well-being of American families' financial well-being, the viability of businesses both small and large and the very health of our economy," Paulson is expected to say.

Despite a recent easing of inter-bank lending rates, Bernanke will warm that "global financial markets remain under extraordinary stress."