President convenes Plunge Protection Team on Monday


Bush to Meet with
Financial Policymakers

By James Vicini and Tim Ahmann
Saturday, March 15, 2008

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush plans to meet on Monday with top U.S. financial policymakers, the White House said, with the meeting coming at a time of increased strains in credit markets.

The White House said on Saturday that the meeting, scheduled at 2:10 p.m. EDT, is with members of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets.

The group is led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and also includes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as well as the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The meeting comes as a sharp downturn in the U.S. housing market has led to a full-blown credit crisis that has reverberated throughout the U.S. financial system.

On Friday, Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank, said it was turning to JPMorgan Chase and the Fed to secure emergency financing, an effort also involving the Treasury.

The president's working group on Thursday issued a wide-ranging set of recommendations for changes that would toughen rules for mortgage brokers, lenders, and credit agencies to try to prevent a recurrence of the problems roiling credit markets.

Democrats in Congress are pushing for legislation under which the Federal Housing Administration could play a larger role in helping to stem the rising tide of home foreclosures that threatens to swamp the financial system.

However, the Bush administration has been cool to any proposals that would expand the government's role.

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