WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged on Monday that the economy is going through "challenging times" and said he supported actions taken by the Federal Reserve to restore order to roiled financial markets.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with top economic advisers, Bush said his message to the country and the world is that "the United States is on top of the situation."
"We're in challenging times," Bush said after the Fed on Sunday announced emergency measures to stem a fast-spreading global financial crisis.
"We've taken strong and decisive action," Bush added.
"The Federal Reserve has moved quickly to bring order to the financial market. Secretary Paulson is supportive of that action as am I," he said.
The Federal Reserve on Sunday lowered the discount rate it charges on direct loans to banks and announced a new lending program to provide credit to other big Wall Street firms, the latest in a series of moves to try to stabilize financial markets.
The Fed also agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns' less liquid assets as part of JP Morgan's proposed acquisition of the troubled investment banking firm.
"Our financial institutions are strong and ... our capital markets are functioning efficiently and effectively," Bush said. "We obviously will continue to monitor the situation and when need be we'll act decisively in a way that continues to bring order to the financial markets."
"In the long run our economy's going to be fine. Right now we're dealing with a difficult situation."
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