As a stopgap until the Treasury's $700 billion financial rescue went into effect, the Federal Reserve announced Monday that it would double the amount of money it makes available to the nation's banks through auctions.
The Fed said it would make $600 billion available to banks through its Term Auction lending facility, and it signaled that number could increase to $900 billion later in the year.
But as investors realized that the government's bailout bill was not a cure-all, stocks went into a tailspin. The Dow sank a record 800 points before recovering somewhat, but it closed below 10,000 points for the first time since 2004.
Later Monday afternoon, Bank of America reported a 68% drop in profits and cut its dividend. The bank, which rescued both Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch in 2008, said it will raise $10 billion through a stock sale.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo and Citigroup both agreed to a legal standstill in their battle for Wachovia.NEXT: Tuesday, Oct. 7 - New kind of bailout