Just hours after the Labor Department reported the biggest drop in jobs in more than five years, the House finally passed a far-reaching plan to bail out the nation's financial system.
The 263-to-171 vote was the result of strong lobbying on the part of the White House and other supporters of the bill all week. After being amended by the Senate to include key sweeteners, including several tax breaks and an increase in the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000, members on both sides of the aisle agreed to switch their votes from "No" to "Yes." President Bush signed the bill into law later in the day.
Earlier Friday, Wachovia and Wells Fargo announced plans to merge, just four days after Citigroup said it would pay $2.2 billion for Wachovia's banking assets. Citigroup demanded that Wachovia and Wells Fargo terminate the proposed deal, valued at approximately $15.1 billion.
Banks weren't the only one scrambling for cash. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told the Treasury Secretary that the credit freeze had shut down funding for the state, which may need a $7 billion emergency loan from the federal government.
The Dow closed down 818 points for the week, it's worst week in seven years.NEXT: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4-6 - Battle of the banks