An unprecedented White House emergency meeting ended last night without full agreement on the Bush administration’s financial rescue package after another day of intense stress on the money markets.

A hard core of Republicans on Capitol Hill maintained their resistance to a deal, even as John McCain and Barack Obama, the leading candidates in November’s presidential elections, met President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders to hammer out a compromise.

Under a set of principles agreed by the congressional leadership of both parties, the administration would be granted the full $700bn it sought, but with a first tranche of just $250bn and a further $100bn available without further congressional approval. Congress would get a chance to a vote on the remaining $350bn at a later date.

The US Treasury was considering the proposals last night.

The proposed compromise would also modify the administration’s original proposals so as to prevent 'inappropriate executive compensation for participating companies'. It would allow the federal government to take stakes in the companies assisted under the plan and establish a powerful oversight board.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph