Bush appeals for confidence

President details government actions to bolster economy during this 'deeply unsettling period.'

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By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

When will stock markets hit a bottom?
  • Within a few days
  • Within a week
  • Within a month
  • They already have

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Bush on Friday encouraged the American people to have confidence in the economy during a "deeply unsettling period."

"We can solve this crisis - and we will," said Bush, in a speech at the White House.

Bush reiterated the recent measures taken by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department to breathe life into the battered markets.

"Here's what the American people need to know: The U.S. government is acting, and we will continue to act, to resolve this crisis and return stability to our markets," he said.

Bush said that the government's "wide range of tools" included the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, which he said is "big enough to work." This plan will authorize the Treasury to buy bad mortgage-related investments from finance companies, unfreezing the credit markets by freeing up banks and finance firms to lend once again.

Bush also said the government has started to take steps to help homeowners to refinance into more affordable mortgages; cut the target for the federal funds rate; unveiled a plan to support the market for commercial paper; and has offered government insurance for money market mutual funds.

In addition, he said the U.S. government is coordinating its efforts with other countries.

"This is an anxious time, but the American people can be confident in our economic future," he said.

Since Sept. 15, the day financial giant Lehman Brothers failed, the president has commented on the nation's financial health 27 times, either through written, radio or on-camera statements.

On Friday, Bush spoke amid another day of stomach-churning volatility in the U.S. and world markets. The Dow plunged nearly 700 points in morning trading, though it erased some of its losses shortly afterwards, as traders snatched up bargain-bin stocks. To top of page

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