Financial markets received the Department of the Treasury's latest bank-rescue plan with a resounding thud. The stock market's swoon was generally attributed to the lack of detail in the Financial Stability Plan, announced Feb. 10. After years of perusing plans and initiatives, investors were dismayed to receive a mere skeleton of a plan.

In conjunction with this week's cover story, this column will focus on one part of the Treasury's plan, a proposal for a "public-private investment fund." While the proposal was rightly pilloried for its vagueness, it does contain the foundation for initial steps toward a recovery short of nationalization.

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