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Bush: More Rescue Measures Possible After Citigroup Bailout


U.S. President George Bush says the government could make more decisions like the bailout of banking giant Citigroup, to safeguard the financial system in the future.

Mr. Bush told reporters Monday he spoke with President-elect Barack Obama about the Citigroup rescue plan and said he will keep the incoming leader informed of any big decisions. Mr. Bush spoke after meeting Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Washington.

The U.S. government agreed Sunday to guarantee $306 billion worth of Citigroup's risky loans and assets. The rescue plan also gives Citigroup another $20 billion to stabilize the company after its stocks lost 60 percent of their value last week week. The cash injection will come from the $700 billion financial package approved by Congress. In return, the government will get a stake in the company.

Citigroup has operations in more than 100 countries. Financial analysts had warned its collapse would seriously hurt the already crippled global economy.

In Britain, Finance Minister Alistair Darling announced a $30 billion economic stimulus package that supports struggling households and cuts certain taxes to get people spending again. Darling sharply downgraded his economic outlook for Britain, saying the economy could shrink as much as 1.25 percent next year because of the global financial crisis.

In Paris Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France and Germany are committed to helping the ailing European auto industry. He expressed concern about the industry following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany and France have indicated they could give financial aid to their automakers, but a key European Union official, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroeshas warned the countries should avoid getting into a race with the United States to subsidize the car industry.

In Peru Sunday, leaders from the United States, China, Japan and 18 other economies in Asia and Latin America promised to take quick action to prevent an even greater economic downturn. They said global financial crisis could be overcome in 18 months.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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