WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner warned Wednesday that the government cannot ease off in its support for the financial system, despite critics who claim the bailout is not working.

"The ultimate costs of this crisis will be greater if we do not act with sufficient strength now," Mr. Geithner said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. "In a crisis of this magnitude, the most prudent course is the most forceful course."

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