U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the current financial crisis is the kind of problem that surfaces just once or twice a century, but he says U.S. officials now have the tools and authority they need to maintain the stability of the financial system.
In a speech in California today (Thursday), he urged careful reform of financial systems so such problems "never happen again."Meanwhile, the economic crisis has hit the auto industry hard, but the U.S. Congress has put off a decision on government economic aid for struggling car companies until next month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants the companies to show her a plan to restructure the firms so they can stand on their own, before they get government money. The largest U.S. car companies (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) have been pleading with skeptical congressional committees for billions of dollars in loans to help them weather the economic downturn.