By Roger Runningen and Catherine Dodge
Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush, in a prime time address to the nation, said the unprecedented intervention his administration has proposed to stabilize U.S. financial markets is urgently needed to avoid the prospect of a “long and painful recession.”
“We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” Bush said in a speech from the White House. “Our entire economy is in danger.”
Bush addressed the nation after he invited presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders to the White House tomorrow to hasten an agreement on the bailout package.
The invitation came after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson faced another day of questioning on the plan from skeptical lawmakers.
Bush explained the crisis, recounting how easier credit brought on “negative consequences” in the economy, including people getting home mortgages they couldn’t afford. The decline in the housing market “set off a domino effect” throughout the economy, he said.
“The gears in the financial system began grinding to a halt,” Bush said.
Resistance in Congress has led the administration to retreat on its opposition to limits on executive compensation for companies taking part in the rescue plan and for more oversight of the plan’s implementation.