U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., has proposed legislation that would let pension funds pool their money to buy between $50 billion and $250 billion of preferred stock in U.S. banks. Mr. Ackerman said he sees the plan as an attractive alternative to the Treasury Department's pumping more money into the banking system. "Some of us are getting tired of writing checks with public money," Mr. Ackerman said.

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