The Capital Purchase Program, providing for the Treasury Department to purchase perpetual preferred stock in banks, thrifts, and their holding companies, was launched with great fanfare Oct. 14 with the announcement that nine of the nation's largest banking organizations had agreed to participate, to the tune of $125 billion.

Since then the program's implementation has encountered a few bumps, exhibiting some of the same ad hoc, improvised quality characterizing other extraordinary rescue measures taken by the current administration and federal banking agencies in the past year.

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