Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson signaled to U.S. lawmakers that when they use the $700 billion in taxpayer funds to buy toxic assets from banks, they are not striving to get the lowest price. The officials said they want to establish a long-term value on the troubled assets. "If the prices are too low, nothing will happen; if the prices are too high, you're going to end up with horrible losses for the taxpayer," said L. William Seidman, former chairman of the Resolution Trust. "I'm equally concerned in both directions."

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