WASHINGTON – An upbeat and jovial President Bush acknowledged Tuesday the challenges that Americans are facing in the global financial crisis but expressed confidence that the U. S. economy will recover.
"There's no doubt that people from all walks of land and all aspects understand that we're having serious times," he said at an office supply company in the Washington suburb of Chantilly, Va.
"We also know that we're the most dynamic econmy in the world, that we've been through tough times before and we're going to come through this time again," he said.
Bush defended the moves his administration has taken to address the economic problems, including the $700 billion bailout bill that was approved by Congress last week and immediately signed into law by him.
The Federal Reserve also announced Tuesday a radical plan to buy massive amounts of short-term debts in a dramatic effort to break through a credit clog that is imperiling the U.S. economy.
But Bush cautioned that it will take time for the plan to ease up credit.
"I wish I could snap my finger and make what happened stop. But that's not how it works," he said.
"I made a decision that is really opposite of my philosophy," he continued. "I basically believe people who make bad decisions in the marketplace should fail. The problem in this case, failure would have cost you."
Earlier Tuesday, Bush talked with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi to coordinate their efforst to ease the financial crisis spreading around the globe. The White House said Bush was open to the idea of a leaders' summit on the economic upheaval.
Bush's speech came after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that the financial crisis has not only darkened the country's current economic performance but also could prolong the pain.
The Fed chief's more gloomy assessment appeared to open the door wider to an interest rate cut on or before Oct. 28-29, the central bank's next meeting, to brace the wobbly economy.
Bernanke said the Fed will "need to consider" whether its current stance of holding rates steady "remains appropriate" given the fallout from the worst financial crisis in decades.
With unemployment rising and businesses unable to get credit, White House press secretary Dana Perino offered a gloomy forecast for the economy.
"Obviously, this next quarter is probably not going to be a very good one," she said, adding that Americans are feeling the impact.
"They're probably not looking forward to next month's statement, when they get their retirment fund or their college fund bank statement," Perino said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.