House defeats bail-out

Bush administration's $700b bail-out is dead in the water. For now

The US House of Representatives has listened to the polls over Wall St and voted down the bi-partisan bail-out plan hammered together over the weekend. The vote was 228-205. Wall St has been anticipating failure today, despite President George Bush's vain attempts before the markets opened to encourage representatives on the hill to back the plan. But as news that the House has failed to support the bill has come out, The New York Times says the Dow Jones fell to a 600-point deficit before recovering slightly.

The question is now whether party leaders can negotiate yet another deal that can win over the 23 votes they need to get a bill passed. Then, of course, there's the Senate to clear. It's hard to know what kind of deal will be negotiated, but despite the market panic the sheer politics of the matter means Congress will have to find something to vote yes for.