Monday, Sept 22, 2008
President George W. Bush said the administration’s $700 billion plan to buy troubled financial assets must be enacted quickly and that failure to act would spread damage to the entire country.
“Failure to act would have broad consequences far beyond Wall Street,” Bush said in a statement today before leaving the White House for a three-day annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “It would threaten small business owners and homeowners on Main Street.”
The three-page rescue plan sent to Congress Sept. 20 empowers Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to purchase mortgage- related securities from U.S. financial companies. The administration widened the scope of bad loans that may be acquired, potentially including car loans, credit-card debt and other devalued assets held by banks.
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The most sweeping intervention by the federal government into capital markets since the Great Depression is aimed at removing bad loans from company balance sheets and restoring market stability.
Investors remained concerned. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index fell 22.13, or 1.76 percent, to 1,232.95 at 10:23 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 154.83, or 1.36 percent, to 11,233.61.