Elements being considered for the overhauled U.S. program included not only the details for purchasing banks' bad assets — the major feature of the $700 billion bailout bill that sped through Congress — but also direct government purchases of stock in banks, an idea that Paulson surfaced only last week.
Another initiative under consideration: providing government guarantees for the short-term loans banks make to each other, a vital credit avenue that has come under severe stress as fears have mounted over the hundreds of billions of dollars of losses that began with the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market in the United States more than a year ago.
Major stock markets around the world surged higher after last week's market disaster as traders began to hear of Europe's actions and the possibility of further steps in the United States.
On Wall Street, a record 936-point increase in the Dow Jones industrials far surpassed the previous one-day mark of 499 points, set in the waning days of the dot-com boom in 2000. But the surge came after the staggering losses of the worst week ever, and economists said more rough days can be expected. European markets rallied following Asia's lead in response to the widespread government initiatives.