US Have A Cunning Plan To Get Us All Out Of This Mess

They just haven't quite worked it out yet. But they're going to work on it across the weekend and get back to us.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plan to work through the weekend with Congress on the plan to deal with toxic bank assets choking the financial system.

Well, that was good enough to drive up the U.S. stock market by its biggest percentage gain in six years and powering a rally in the dollar.

The news sent Asian shares soaring this morning. Japan's Nikkei jumped 3.5% by afternoon trading. The Shanghai Composite was up 9.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng soared 6.5% by noon.

Exactly what form this "cunning plan" is going to take, how much it will cost, and who foots the bill remains to be seen.

There is speculation that one plan being discussed involves legislation that would force lenders to renegotiate mortgages that homeowners are having difficulty paying.

Another possibility is establishing a government agency that would take on the debt.

Meanwhile, UK and US authorities announced plans to curb short-selling of stocks.

At one stage on Thursday, Morgan Stanley's stock dropped as much as 42 percent and Goldman as much as 25 percent, adding to several days of huge declines that have wiped out tens of billions of dollars of market value. However, after news of the moves by authorities in the United States and the UK, they recovered, and were both trading higher in after-hours trade.