Will Tim Geithner's $1 trillion public-private partnership plan for buying up the banking industry's toxic assets mark the bottom of the bear market, as the massive Wall Street rally on Monday seemed to suggest? The not terribly helpful answer to this question is that it depends whether the US Treasury Secretary's plan works. We are not going to know this for some months, and even then it may not presage a sustained rally. What can be said is that we must now be pretty close to the bottom of the financial crisis. Much less certain is what shape the recovery might take. Is it the sharp bounce-back anticipated by some, or will we just bump along at depressed levels for years to come? Whatever the answer, the outlook for equity markets is for the time being one of more volatility.
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