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Decisive action needed to address root cause of financial crisis: Paulson
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that the government must now take "further, decisive action" to buy from financial organizations the "troubled assets," which are "the root cause of our financial system's stresses."


 U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson speaks at a news conference on Comprehensive Approach to Market Developments at the Treasury Department in Washington, September 19, 2008. [Xinhua/Reuters]

The secretary told a press conference that he planned to work through the weekend with congressional leaders to reach agreement on a plan that would address the root problems of the financial crisis gripping the country.

"This troubled asset relief program must be properly designed and sufficiently large to have maximum impact, while including features that protect the taxpayer to the maximum extent possible," Paulson said.

"I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative -- a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion," he said.

As the government works with the Congress to pass this legislation over the next week, other immediate actions will also provide relief, said the secretary.

One is to provide critical additional funding to mortgage markets and the other is to increase the availability of capital for new home loans, he said.

"Right now, our focus is restoring the strength of our financial system so it can again finance economic growth," Paulson said.

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