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Bush: Top Economic Powers Will Cooperate on Economic Crisis


U.S. President George Bush is pledging a global response to the financial crisis, one he says will lead to "stability and long-term growth." Mr. Bush spoke after meeting at the White House with the finance ministers of six other major industrialized countries. VOA's Kent Klein reports from Washington.

President Bush and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson met early Saturday morning with the finance ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, to discuss ways to restore confidence in the world economy.

Mr. Bush did not announce any new strategies to deal with the global financial problems, but he said he and the other leaders "will do what it takes" to resolve the crisis.

"The G7 nations have pledged to take decisive action to support systemically important financial institutions and prevent their failure, provide robust protection for retail bank deposits, and assure financial institutions are able to raise needed capital," he said. "[We] have agreed to implement strong measures to unfreeze credit, ensure access to liquidity, and help to re-start the secondary markets for mortgages and other assets."

The world's stock markets lost 15 to 18 percent of their value in the past week. The paralyzed credit markets and warnings of a global recession led to panic selling in markets around the world.

Mr. Bush said Saturday the United States has "a special role to play" in leading the response to the crisis, and he laid out the steps the U.S. government has already taken in hopes of restoring financial stability.

"To help thaw frozen markets, the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented measures to boost liquidity," he said. "The Securities and Exchange Commission has cracked down on abusive practices in the markets. Federal agencies have significantly expanded the amount of money insured in bank and credit union accounts."

"My administration worked with the Congress to pass legislation authorizing the government to recapitalize banks, by purchasing troubled assets or providing insurance or purchasing equity in financial institutions," he added.

Mr. Bush emphasized the need for all the nations involved to work together, rather than taking actions that would damage other countries' efforts to resolve the crisis.

"We are in this together," said President Bush. "We will come through it together. [We are] confident that the world's major economies can overcome the challenges we face."

A short time later, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected creation of a common financial rescue fund for Europe.

Later in the day, finance officials from the G7 nations were to meet with their counterparts from Russia, China, India, Brazil and a number of developing countries to discuss the problems in the global economy. Treasury Secretary Paulson requested the meeting to explain the actions that the U.S. and other nations have taken.

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