There was relatively little detail yesterday of how the Obama administration's rescue plan would address one of the most pressing problems for many Americans: how to prevent mortgage foreclosures and keep families in their homes.

Help for the housing market has turned into one of the main battlegrounds in the struggle between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Apart from continuing the Federal Reserve’s attempts to drive down mortgage rates by buying mortgage securities – which has not stopped rates rising – the Treasury said it would commit $50bn (€39bn, £34bn) of the remaining money available under the troubled asset relief programme to help reduce monthly payments for middle-class owner-occupiers. Full details will be available in coming weeks but analysts think the plan will focus on creating incentives for lenders to change the terms of troubled mortgages.

Financial Times, Wall Street Journal