A report Tuesday by a panel overseeing the bailout suggested a successful crisis plan should leave open the possibility of closing institutions and firing executives.

The April report by the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel said past crises indicate that successful plans have four elements: transparency; assertiveness, including a willingness to shut down firms; accountability, including the possible replacement of "failed managers," and clarity.

But the report painted broad strokes and indicated members were deadlocked over its recommendations. "Disagreement exists … regarding the need for, and appropriateness of, discussing potential alternative courses for Treasury to take," it said.

Indeed, an accompanying statement by two members — New York Bank Superintendent Richard Neiman and former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H. — said the panel could do more harm than good in recommending alternative plans such as bank nationalization.

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