WASHINGTON -- The price of delaying the saving and loan industry bailout is escalating rapidly and could well surpass $1 billion, officials charged with the cleanup told the House Banking Committee yesterday.

"The cost of delay increases over time. The longer the hiatus, the longer it takes to catch up, and we are now in the second quarter of delay," said Albert Casey, president of the Resolution Trust Corp. and a member of the Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board.

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