How to unblock the credit markets

The United States Treasury's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program was cobbled together in great haste. Initially, its primary mission was to buy difficult-to-value mortgages that remained on banks' books and even more difficult-to-value asset-backed securities that had been sliced into various risk tranches and distributed widely throughout both the American and European financial systems. As the Treasury soon discovered, this task amounted to "mission impossible". More subtle approaches a