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US gov't offers US$700 bln bailout plan
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The Bush administration is planning to buy 700 billion dollars of bad debt from financial institutions in efforts to deal with the financial crisis.

The plan, part of the government's largest financial bailout since the Great Depression, would give the administration broad power to buy the bad debt of any U.S. financial institutions for the next two years, according to Saturday's news reports.

It would also raise the statutory limit on the national debt from 10.6 trillion dollars to 11.3 trillion dollars in order to make room for the massive rescue.

The administration is working with Congress to quickly pass a financial bailout bill, U.S. President George W. Bush told reporters Saturday at the White House after meeting with his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe on a free-trade agreement.

Bush said he decided to act boldly once he realized how severe the problems were.

He also noted that it is essential that the bailout plan be strong enough to address the problems.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that he planned to work through the weekend with congressional leaders to reach agreement on a bailout plan that would address the root problems of the financial crisis gripping the country -- bad debt on financial institutions' balance sheet.

"As illiquid mortgage assets block the system, the clogging of our financial markets has the potential to have significant effects on our financial system and our economy," Paulson told reporters.

(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2008)

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