Finance officials from the world's top economic powers have endorsed a
plan to deal with the financial crisis that has sent stock indexes
plunging around the world.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the G-7 -- the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and Italy-- pledged to take decisive action and use all available tools to support important financial institutions and prevent their failure.
The economic officials met Friday in Washington. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the group agreed on the need to restore the availability of credit, to help banks raise money from public and private sources, and to beef up bank deposit insurance.
Paulson said the agreement among the G-7 officials should raise the confidence of people concerned about the condition of financial markets around the world.
Paulson also said the U.S. government will move ahead with a plan to buy stock in financial institutions.
After a day of wild swings, U.S. stocks posted mixed results by the close of trading Friday. European stock market indexes were down seven percent or more at the close, while Japan's Nikkei index lost nearly 10 percent.
Later on Saturday President Bush will host a meeting in Washington of the International Monetary Fund. On Sunday, European leaders are to gather in Paris to draw up a joint plan to cope with the financial crisis.