The Treasury Department's $700 billion plan to begin buying bad loans and other troubled assets has been complicated by delays in hiring financial firms, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Treasury won approval from Congress for the program on Oct. 3. It said at the time that it would quickly hire asset managers, and that the program could be up and running within a few weeks.

But several hurdles have arisen, including concern over the fees the government will pay asset managers, as well as a lack of manpower at Treasury, the Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Treasury is expected to hire managers soon, possibly as early as this week. In recent days, Allianz SE's ( AZ) Pacific Investment Management, or Pimco, has received indications it will likely be accepted to manage assets for the Treasury, according to the newspaper.

The Journal reports the fees the government will pay financial firms aren't expected to be as high as a firm could get managing private assets. The fees could wind up being about 0.15% to 0.20% of assets, compared with 0.35% for managing typical institutional stock assets.

This article was written by a staff member of