Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, shown here with congressional leaders, talks about how the Bush administration will solve a problem it has helped create for the past seven years.
If you thought the Iraq war was expensive, the Bush administration is also throwing an estimated $1-trillion bailout of major finance firms to prevent a meltdown of the U.S. economy. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson outlined such a “bold approach” Friday morning, yet detailed plans still remain forthcoming.
Congressional leaders said after meeting Thursday evening with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that as much as $1 trillion could be needed to avoid an imminent meltdown of the U.S. financial system.
Paulson announced plans Friday morning for a “bold approach” that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. At a news conference at Treasury headquarters, he called for a “temporary asset relief program” to take bad mortgages off the books of the nation’s financial institutions. Congressional leaders had left Washington on Friday, but Paulson planned to confer with them over the weekend.
“We’re talking hundreds of billions,” Paulson told reporters. “This needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get to the heart of the problem.”