President George Bush completed a national address Wednesday evening in which he spoke of the government’s planned $700 billion bailout program to stave off what appears to be a catastrophic national financial crisis.
President Bush used a prime-time TV address on Wednesday night to press his case for a $700 billion bailout of the nation’s shaky financial system.
The aim of Bush’s proposal is to restore confidence to the credit markets, which are at risk of freezing. Should that happen, experts say, the U.S. economy could seize up – threatening easy lending to businesses and consumers, a loss of jobs and a severe economic downturn.
“We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” Bush said.
Banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen and businesses and families can’t afford to borrow, Bush said.
“The market is not functioning properly. There is a widespread loss of confidence,” he said. “America could slip into a widespread financial panic.”
President Bush, Barack Obama, and John McCain are planning to attend a meeting at the White House on Thursday to discuss the proposed bailout:
The program, first unveiled six days ago, would amount to the most sweeping economic intervention by the government since the Great Depression. The high-stakes debate over it gained rapid momentum on Wednesday.
Bush has called a White House meeting for Thursday afternoon to discuss the bailout. Congressional leaders and presidential candidates John McCain and Barrack Obama are expected to attend.
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