Just a few minutes ago in a prime-time speech carried by every U.S. television network and radio station, U.S. President George W. Bush, looking less than self-assured, addressed Americans from the White House, issuing a dire warning that unless lawmakers pass a $700 billion financial rescue plan, the result likely will be closed businesses, more housing foreclosures, more lost jobs and the wiping out of retirement savings.
In other words the U.S. President warned Americans they face a potential economic crisis unlike any experienced in the nation in recent history. [The Associated Press photograph at top, left is of President Bush posing for photographers right after giving his speech tonight.]
A dire warning and crisis situation it is indeed.
Of course, the Devil is in the details of that $700 billion financial rescue package which the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are currently conducting hearings on, saying it would be irresponsible for them to merely rubber stamp the proposal, which among other things calls for the Secretary of the Treasury to be given extraordinary powers, including not having any of his actions being subject to review by any U.S. court of law, in his role as the government's economic bailout Czar.
The Associated Press has just filed the first story about President George W. Bush's talk to the American people this evening.
Additionally, you can read a complete transcript of Bush's speech given from the White House tonight. Click here to view the transcript
In his speech this evening the U.S. President also invited Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to meet with him, cabinet officials and a selected group of others at an emergency meeting at the White House tomorrow to discuss the financial crisis gripping the financial markets and the country.
Republican candidate for President John McCain also has announced he is suspending his campaign until further notice because of the financial crisis.
His campaign also asked the Obama campaign to cancel Friday's nationally televised Presidential debate, which is to be on the topic of foreign policy. An Obama campaign spokesman told cable news network channel CNN earlier tonight that its team wants the debate to go forward, and that it hopes the financial crisis and the U.S. economy can be discussed in Friday's debate, along with foreign policy, since it is the most pressing issue facing Americans.
The potential economic damage the current financial crisis has already and can further cause is grave, not only in the U.S. but globally. A plan that protects both Wall Street and main street needs to be devised rapidly. But not in a sloppy fashion like the current one before Congress was developed.
Hopefully that plan can be fixed at the grand White House meeting tomorrow, agreed to on a bi-partisan basis in Congress, and rapidly passed and enacted.
The Devil may be in the details. But additional lost jobs and retirement savings, a global economic meltdown, business failures, and numerous other related economic negatives lie in the balance, as does the well being of the American people.