11/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

If The Bailout Passes... Then What?

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- After much ado, the government appears ready to toss a lifeline to Wall Street. But with policymakers frantically battling to keep the economy out of a deep slump, it won't be the only one needed.

The House of Representatives is expected to approve a $700 billion rescue package Friday. The so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program would allow Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy bad mortgage assets, in hopes of getting bank loans flowing through the economy again.

But using TARP to slim the bloated balance sheets of U.S. financial institutions may not be enough to restore the investor confidence that began ebbing last year - confidence that's necessary if banks are going to be able to raise the capital they need to stand behind their loans, and engage in the borrowing they need to keep their operations running on a daily basis.

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