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July 14, 2008, 8:22 AM EDT
(Associated Press) - The U.S. government is signaling it won't throw a lifeline to struggling financial companies -- except for mortgage linchpins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- marking a shift to a new and potentially more volatile phase of the credit crisis. Such an approach could mean beaten-down investment banks like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and regional banks must now fend for themselves as they try to recover from billions of dollars in mortgage-related losses -- unlike Bear Stearns Cos., whose buyout the government helped orchestrate in March.