Washington A Republican rebellion stalled government efforts Thursday to avoid economic meltdown, a chaotic turnaround that disrupted the choreography of an extraordinary White House meeting meant to show joint resolve from the president, the political parties and the presidential candidates.
After six days of intensive talks on the $700 billion financial industry bailout proposed by the Bush administration, there was more confusion than clarity.
An apparent breakthrough was announced with fanfare at midday by key members of Congress from both parties - but not top leaders. Wall Street cautiously showed its pleasure, with the Dow Jones industrials closing 196 points higher.
But the good news and the market close were followed by a rash of less-positive developments.
Washington Mutual Inc. was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the largest failure ever of a U.S. bank, after which JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. came to its rescue by buying the thrift's banking assets.
And a late-afternoon White House summit bringing together President Bush, presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama, and top congressional leaders, described as "a full-throated discussion" by one person in the room and "a contentious shouting match" by McCain's campaign, broke up with conflicts in plain view.
Meanwhile a group of House GOP lawmakers circulated an alternative that would put much less focus on a government takeover of failing institutions' sour assets.