Dollar Rises As Rescue Talks Breakdown

The dollar is firmer across the board Friday as news emerges that just when a final deal was within reach, US lawmakers fell short of securing agreement on the Treasury Department’s $700 billion rescue plan to shore up the financial markets.

Congressional leaders worked late into the night with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to finalize provisions only to have efforts dashed by Republican members of the House of Representatives who said the plan would mean too much of a commitment of taxpayers’ money and too great of an intrusion into private enterprise.

The dissenters circulated an alternative proposal, whereby the government would insure unstable financial institutions rather than outright buying their holdings of problematic assets.

A White House summit of key Congressional leaders, presidential nominees McCain and Obama, and representatives of the Bush administration called to show bipartisan effort to stave off catastrophe reportedly ended in a “shouting match”.

A partial deal had been agreed to in principle earlier this morning whereby the administration would get approval for half of the $700 billion it requested, with the rest subject to a Congressional veto.

At 7.45am BST the dollar was $1.8390 against the pound and $1.4639 against the euro.