The story

The U.S. Treasury Department will begin selling bonds Wednesday to help the Federal Reserve, which has had to loan out an unprecedented amount of money to businesses because of the credit crisis.

The Fed announced Tuesday it would authorize the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lend up to $85 billion over two years to insurance giant American International Group. In return, the government will receive a 79.9 percent stake in the company, which has 74 million clients in 130 countries.

The first Treasury auction for the central bank will be for $40 million. The Treasury bills will mature in 35 days, allowing the Fed access to quick cash.

But what does this mean to American taxpayers and an ailing U.S. economy? CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi breaks it down.

Q: What does this mean in layman's terms? Read full article »

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