WASHINGTON — Of all the provisions in the bill designed to stabilize the financial markets, one of its most potent is not getting enough attention, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

The provision would allow the Treasury Department to provide credit guarantees and enhancements on whole loans. If it were used, it would allow the government to increase modifications and stabilize home prices at a much smaller cost than buying the loans themselves, Ms. Bair said in an interview Thursday.

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