Our president emerged this morning to do what presidents do when global financial markets collapse, which is to tell us that they have the situation in hand. Credit President Bush, however, for not assuring us that the “economy is fundamentally sound” and actually acknowledging that he is “concerned.”
(Herbert Hoover, you may remember, made a career of delusional optimism in the Great Depression, when he perpetually assured the country that recovery was “just around the corner.”)
In his first remarks on the financial crisis since the rescue by U.S. authorities of insurance giant American International Group, he said the recent efforts by his administration and the Federal Reserve were necessary moves.
“The American people are concerned about the situation in our financial markets and our economy, and I share their concerns,” he told reporters in a brief statement outside the Oval Office at the White House.
“Our financial markets continue to deal with serious challenges,” he said. “As our recent actions demonstrate, my administration is focused on meeting these challenges.”
Bush did, of course, finger the usual bogeymen–nefarious speculators and market manipulators: Global market collapses, after all, have to be blamed on someone. (Everyone else, by the way, thinks the problem was Alan Greenspan).
He sought to reassure investors, pointing to the government’s takeover of mortgage financing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae “to help promote market stability and to ensure they continue to play a role in helping our housing market recover.”
He also noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission had made moves to shore up investor protections and boost enforcement against illegal market manipulation.
“These actions are necessary, and they’re important, and the markets are adjusting to them,” he said. “The American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilise our financial markets and improve investor confidence,” he said.
See Also: Markets So Bad President Bush Stays Home
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