Most of the day was relatively calm, and the trading floor was quieter than usual because of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Wall Street awoke to news the federal government was brandishing a new weapon against the financial crisis — considering seeking an equity stake in major U.S. banks in order to stabilize them. But that step appeared to be as ineffectual as the others Washington has rolled out in recent weeks, including a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, a coordinated interest rate cut by central banks around the world and direct lending by the Federal Reserve to private companies to provide them with short-term cash. Acquiring a stake in the banks would be yet another startling intervention by the government in the free market, but economists said President Bush was left with little choice because of the credit markets, where tight lending has choked off the everyday cash that is the lifeblood of the economy. "In normal times, this would be out of the question, but in the present dire situation, I think the government should be employing all the powers that it can," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands. SOURCE... Normal times? That's out of the question. Emergencies and crisis = more power.