WASHINGTON — After a grueling two weeks of debate and a near breakdown in the political system, a bill to help stabilize the financial markets was enacted Friday — but the hardest work is just beginning.

The Treasury Department is expected within a few weeks to begin buying illiquid assets in order to send a signal to the marketplace. To do so, it plans to quickly hire asset managers, identify appropriate assets, determine a way to value them, and establish an auction system for financial institutions.

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