NEW YORK - Wall Street is
losing faith in Washington's efforts to fix the financial crisis. As bank
losses pile up and bank stocks plunge, investors have an urgent question for
the new Obama administration: What's the plan?
Timothy Geithner, Obama's
pick for treasury secretary, had few answers as he began confirmation
hearings Wednesday. He told lawmakers that two goals were to "get credit
flowing again" and overhaul the $700 billion bailout, but he offered few
There's a lot riding on the
new administration. Several of the largest U.S. banks, saddled with soured
mortgage-backed assets, are edging toward the danger zone despite injections
of billions of dollars from the government last year.
At the same time, the
recession is gathering force, chewing up jobs by the hundreds of thousands
and ruining many consumer and business loans that were once thought to carry