I could be wrong, but the sense I got from the hearing is that the bailout is a foregone conclusion, and at this point its just a matter of working out the details. Congress doesn't have the guts to do nothing, because they don't understand what's going on and they don't want to be blamed for a depression if the doomsday warnings of Paulson and Bernanke prove accurate. They also know that they'll have a lot of constituents who will be mad as hell about the idea of aiding big banks that made poor investments. So, by grilling Paulson and putting on a show for the cameras and making him work for the money, they'll be able to say that they didn't simply fork over the $700 billion, no questions asked. And Democrats will fight for concessions -- oversight, executive compensation restrictions, homeowner relief -- that they can use to justify their vote for the plan. But the language the Senators used in their questioning gave off the general impression that everybody is assuming some sort of bailout package will be happening within the next week.
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