U.S. President George Bush says the next president's top priority must be to change the way the financial system is regulated.
Mr. Bush said on Friday that Washington has taken "aggressive" action to resolve the financial crisis. He assured Americans the efforts will be successful, but said it will take time for them to work. Economic reports paint a mixed picture of the crisis. Some economists say there is evidence that stalled credit markets -- a big part of the financial crisis -- are starting to improve.
But the U.S. Commerce Department said the number of new homes under construction fell to a 17-year low in September.
And a separate University of Michigan report said consumer confidence dropped
sharply by nearly 13 percentage points to a reading of 57-point-five
during the month. U.S. stock markets posted losses Friday after a day
trading, while European markets closed with strong gains. Key Asian
markets closed before Mr. Bush spoke, and they had mixed results.