Paulson: 'Significant Challenges Remain'
UPDATED AT 3:45 p.m.
In a speech just concluded, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said, "Although we are facing particularly difficult circumstances, I remain confident that we will work through these challenges, as we have always successfully worked through every economic challenge in the history of the United States."
Other highlights from the speech:
- Paulson "expects it will be several weeks" before the Treasury buys its first toxic asset with the $700 billion Wall Street bailout/rescue.
- He was asked if, looking back, it was a mistake for the government not to bail out Lehman Brothers. "There was no buyer for Lehman," Paulson said. "There was no hole to fill."
- Paulson said: "It is too early to look for encouraging signs in the credit markets" and added, "patience is also needed because the turmoil will not end quickly and significant challenges remain."
- There are "four key challenges" in the markets today, Paulson said: confidence, capital, systemic risk and liquidity.
- The bailout group held its first oversight meeting yesterday.
- Paulson is calling for a special meeting of the G20 that will include senior finance officials, central bankers and regulators from key emerging economies to discuss how the U.S. might coordinate to lessen the effects of global market turmoil and the economic slowdown of "all of our countries."
-- Frank Ahrens
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