UPDATE: Clusterstock’s John Carney published some top-notch analysis of what they actually agreed to.

Earlier: Better put away that Cherry Coke, Warren Buffett, it seems the government doesn’t need you to come up with a better bailout deal.

It turns out the much-ballyhooed $700 billion Hanke-Panke plan has already received preliminary approval by both parties in the House and Senate. Does this mean that McCain is now free to go out with Obama on Friday night? Barack will be so happy!

WSJ: A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers left a two-hour-plus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday saying they have a “fundamental agreement” on a $700 billion plan to bail out U.S. financial markets…

“We came to agreements on a lot of the important issues,” House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) said at a press conference featuring most of those who attended the meeting. Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said: “I believe that we will pass this legislation before the markets open on Monday.”…

Frank’s Senate counterpart, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) said lawmakers plan to “act expeditiously” to pass legislation allowing the federal government to buy billions of dollars in distressed assets. The final legislation is expected to vastly expand on a Treasury proposal issued last weekend. It potentially includes some limits on executive compensation for companies that sell their assets to the government and some way for the government to recoup the money it spends to help free illiquid credit markets.

“I believe we are on track to pass it,” Mr. Frank said following the meeting.


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