Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments -- Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven't ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.
One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that ``no one knows what to do'' at the moment.
``When you rush to judgment, you usually make mistakes,'' said Sherwood Boehlert, a former Republican congressman from New York. ``This is something you can't go on forever without addressing, but Congress in a short span of time is best served by going home.''
President Bush spoke briefly today. Aiming to be reassuring and to show that he is working on the problem, he said the markets are adjusting to the "extraordinary measures" that have been taken in recent days by the federal government.
The stocks ended upbeat today, compared to the meltdown yesterday. The rally was a stunning late-session turnaround, shooting higher and hurtling the Dow Jones industrials up 400 points following a report that the federal government might create an entity to absorb banks' bad debt.
About yesterday... when the bell rang the close
A German report arriving on Drudge today, summarizing yesterday was telling how brutal it was from the start.
The original plan actually called for humor. On Wednesday evening, actress Christy Carlson Romano was supposed to ring the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to mark her debut in the Broadway musical "Avenue Q." She plays two roles on stage -- a romantic kindergarten assistant, and a slutty nightclub singer.
After that day on the floor, the stock traders could have used a bit of comic relief. But it was not to be. Instead of Christy Carlson Romano, a NYSE employee in a joyless gray suit stood on the balcony and silently pressed a button. The bell rang and he disappeared. No waving, no clapping, none of the usual jubilation.
By the end of Wednesday, no one here was in the mood for laughter. The bad news on Wall Street was coming thick and fast. All the US indexes were crashing again after Tuesday's brief and deceptive breather. In its wild, rollercoaster ride, the Dow Jones lost about 450 points, which was almost as much as it lost on Monday, the most catastrophic day on US markets since 2001.
And none of this can be good for John McCain... witness that the polls are showing the love affair with Sarah Palin is over and Obama is taking a slight lead in the polls for the moment.
Meanwhile, some stocks are low and good bargains. A great time for the rich to buy when the market's low. Warren Buffet's buying.