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Bush urges $700bn bailout

US President George Bush has urged Congress to push through plans that will see his Government buy up billions of dollars of illiquid mortgage assets.

In a speech to the American public yesterday, Bush underlined the need for the Government to intervene in liquidising the US markets.

Bush said: “I am a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to oppose Government intervention. Under normal circumstances I would have followed this course. With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, not passing a bill would cost Americans much more later. Our entire economy is in danger.”

Bush stressed that the $700bn would not be invested into the financial institutions of Wall Street. Bush said: “[Congress’ decision] should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars.”

He also highlighted that the decision to invest in mortgage-backed assets was a joint one between the Democrats and the Republicans. Bush said both Obama and McCain will join the discussions for the bipartisan bill.

Bush’s speech was peppered with frank battle cries and seemed to compare the economic turbulence with a war situation.

He said: “I know that Americans sometimes get discouraged by the tone in Washington and the seemingly endless partisan struggles, yet history has shown that, in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion.”

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