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Bush: U.S. Dealing With Financial Crisis

Trying to calm turmoil in financial markets, President Bush said Monday that his administration is 'on top of the situation' in dealing with the slumping economy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush, trying to calm turmoil in financial markets, said Monday that his administration is ''on top of the situation'' in dealing with the slumping economy.
''One thing is for certain, we're in challenging times,'' the president said after meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other senior economic advisers. ''But another thing is for certain: We've taken strong, decisive action.''
The president commended the Fed for its urgent actions over the weekend. ''We've shown the country and the world that the United States is on top of the situation,'' he said.
Bush spoke on a day of turmoil and plunging prices on global financial markets. Oil prices hit a record in Asian trading, U.S. stock index futures fell sharply and the dollar hit record lows.
The White House moved quickly to raise Bush's public profile Monday, and he continued to send an upbeat message, even in acknowledging a downturn that keeps roiling the economy and the people as well.
''We agree upon the fact that our financial institutions are strong, and that our capital markets are functioning efficiently and effectively,'' Bush said with his economic aides.
Still, Bush said his administration is monitoring economic developments closely.
''When need be, we'll act decisively in a way that continues to bring order to financial markets,'' Bush said.
He did not indicate any other steps his government might take, or when.
''In the long run, our economy is going to be fine,'' Bush said. ''Right now we're dealing with a difficult situation.''
The Federal Reserve, in an extraordinarily rare weekend move, became a lender of last resort for Wall Street investment houses to begin securing short-term emergency loans. The central bank also approved a cut in its emergency lending rate to financial institutions to 3.25 percent from 3.50 percent.
Later Monday, Bush was to meet with his Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox.
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