Doubts grow on US financial rescue plan

WASHINGTON, September 22, 2008 (AFP) – Doubts emerged Monday about a gargantuan 700-billion-dollar US bailout of the finance system, plunging markets into renewed turmoil, as oil prices surged, the dollar slid and stocks faced fresh pressure.

US and European markets fell hard as anxious investors waited on lawmakers to pass the measure and President George W. Bush urged top speed.

The “whole world is watching to see if we can act quickly to shore up our markets and prevent damage to our capital markets, businesses, our housing sector and retirement accounts,” Bush said, amid growing unease about the proposals’ fate in the US Congress.

The plan to buy toxic mortgage-related assets from the banks was unveiled Friday to fight the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The plan drew praise from some, but also stinging protests from lawmakers from both parties and various analysts.

Texas Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling said lawmakers should carefully study options before approving the plan.

“Congress is being asked to support an uncertain entity, costing an uncertain amount of dollars, for an uncertain duration,” he said.

“My fear is that taxpayers will be left with the mother