News

    Bush Optimistic About Economy; Fed Chairman Sees 'Difficulties'

    U.S. President George Bush is urging lawmakers to act quickly on legislation to financially support mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while expressing optimism that the country will weather the credit crisis.

    The president spoke to reporters Tuesday in an attempt to assure the country, and investors, that the government's action would help stabilize the rocky financial markets.

    Mr. Bush said although the country is going through a tough time, he believes it will emerge "stronger than ever before."

    Meanwhile, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, told lawmakers Tuesday the U.S. economy faces "numerous difficulties," and that the threats to the country's economic well-being have increased.

    Chairman Ben Bernanke said stabilizing the financial markets will continue to be a top priority for the Federal Reserve.  But he also said policymakers are also wary of the increased risk of inflation and continued sluggish growth rates.  

    The president and the Federal Reserve chairman spoke as the government reported the impact of soaring food and fuel prices on the economy.

    The U.S. Labor Department said wholesale prices jumped almost two percent last month and are up more than nine percent over the past 12 months, the largest surge since 1981.  

    A report from the U.S. Commerce Department says retail sales rose one-tenth of one percent in June.  However, it also said sales at gasoline stations rose last month by more than four  percent because of higher prices.

    Investors have not responded well to a plan announced Monday to boost mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee almost half of all U.S. home loans.  Shares of the two lenders have plunged despite assurance from U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the lenders are financially sound and will not need  emergency funding.

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox also announced measures to further protect the trading of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares, while promising lawmakers a thorough investigation of rumors that may have caused additional financial instability.

    Earlier, the U.S. dollar hit an all-time low against the euro, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped nearly four percent, and Japan's Nikkei index fell two percent, led by losses at two of Japan's major banks, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.  The banks hold billions of dollars in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt.  Major European indexes also finished lower.

    Investors also were rattled by last week's collapse of IndyMac bank, which came under government control Monday.  The fall of IndyMac, which has some $32 billion in assets, is one of the largest bank collapses in U.S. history.

    President Bush said despite the collapse, the banking system is sound.  He also reminded bank customers that their investments are insured by the government, up to $100,000.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora