economic officials from the world's wealthiest nations say they will take
"whatever actions necessary" to ensure the stability of the
international financial system.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-7 discussed the U.S.
financial bailout plan (Monday) in a conference call.
The commitment follows the Bush administration's request to the U.S. Congress
for a 700 billion-dollar financial intervention plan. President Bush said
"the whole world is watching" how the United States copes with this
crisis. He urged Congress to avoid partisan actions that would make the bill
less effective or slow its passage.
The president said failure to act on the package would have "broad
consequences" that hurt ordinary Americans as well as wealthy investors.
Congress has scheduled a hearing on the issue with the head of the U.S. central
bank on Wednesday.
Washington's moves got mixed reaction from investors. Asian stock markets made
gains in Monday's trading, but European stocks were down as much as two percent
and some major U.S. indexes plunged around four percent.
In another development, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board said Monday it is
speeding up approval for the last two major American investment banks, Goldman
Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to become bank holding companies.
The change means the two companies will be able to accept deposits and borrow
money from the U.S. central bank.