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Bush: successor must overhaul financial rules

Latest update : 2008-10-20

US President George W. Bush has warned the economic rescue plan is "going to take a while" to bear fruit, and that it is up to his successor, Barack Obama or John McCain, to overhaul US financial rules.

US President George W. Bush said Friday that "it's going to take a while" for his economic rescue plan to bear fruit and charged his successor with carrying out an overhaul of US financial rules.
   
"The actions will take more time to have their full impact. It took a while for the credit system to freeze up; it's going to take a while for the credit system to thaw," he said in a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce.
   
With just 18 days before the November 4 elections, Bush said whoever enters the White House in late January will have to "ensure that this situation never happens again" by updating US regulations on banking.
   
Citing US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's overhaul proposal and "good suggestions" from others, Bush declared: "Enacting these ideas into law must be a top priority for the next president and the next Congress."
   
Amid deep unease over the US government buying stakes in US banks -- notably on the right flank of his Republican party -- Bush defended the move as a "last resort" and denied that he had taken "a step toward nationalizing banks."
   
"This is simply not the case. This program is designed with strong protections to ensure the government's involvement in individual banks is limited in size, limited in scope, and limited in duration," he said.
   
At the same time, Bush said he had taken "systematic and aggressive measures" and that "they're big enough and bold enough to work, and the American people can be confident they will."
   
Bush's speech came one day before he was to host French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso at his Camp David retreat for talks on the global financial meltdown.
   
The US president has signed on to a proposal from Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency, to hold an emergency summit of world leaders -- a gathering now expected in late November.
   
Bush made no explicit reference to Sarkozy's call for a top-to-bottom overhaul of international financial regulations but said that "our 21st century global economy continues to be regulated by laws written in the 20th century."
   
"Our European partners are taking bold steps. They show the world that we're determined to overcome this challenge together. And they have the full support of the United States," Bush said.
   
After he spoke, Wall Street shares fell at the opening as a weak report on US housing starts prompted profit-taking a day after a powerful rally.
   
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 222.94 points (2.48 percent) to 8,756.32 in the first exchanges a day after a dramatic rebound lifted the blue-chip index more than 400 points.
   
Market action came as a report showed construction starts on new US homes slumped an additional 6.3 percent in September to the lowest level since the recession in 1991.
   
The White House said Thursday it was too soon to say where and when world leaders might hold talks later this year or whether US presidential hopefuls would take part, and played down expectations for the Camp David talks.
   
"I wouldn't expect a lot out of it. I don't expect any new policy announcements. I don't expect dates for meetings to be announced," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.
   
"I think that it will just be a chance for them to continue the discussions that they've been having since the beginning" of the crisis, she said.
 

Date created : 2008-10-17

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