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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Barack Obama on the Emerging Federal Reserve - Treasury Plan

In response to emerging details of the Federal Reserve – Treasury Plan to address the current financial crisis, Senator Obama released the following statement ...
The events of the last few days have made it clear that we must take further bold and decisive action to shore up confidence in our financial markets and avoid a deepening economic crisis that could jeopardize the life savings and well-being of millions of Americans. I support the effort of Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke to work in a bipartisan spirit with the Congressional leadership to find a systemic solution to our deepening crisis, and I will closely examine the specifics of their effort and the opportunities for swift action. As I review the emerging details of Fed-Treasury proposal with my top economic advisors this morning I will be guided by four basic principles:
First, we cannot lose sight that we are in the midst of a broad economic crisis that also requires immediate action to create jobs and help support distressed homeowners and communities. For too long, this Administration has been willing to hit the fast forward button in helping distressed Wall Street firms while pressing pause when it comes to saving jobs or keeping families in their homes. Swift and unprecedented action to shore up Wall Street must come alongside equally swift and serious efforts to help struggling families on Main Street, create new jobs, and grow our middle-class once more.
Second, any taxpayer-funded support must have as its focus protecting our nation's long-term interest in a stable financial market and a growing economy rather than rewarding particular companies or the imprudent decisions of borrowers or lenders. These extraordinary steps must be designed with only the public good in mind, not to enhance the personal gain of CEOs and management at taxpayers’ expense.
Third, this plan must be temporary and coupled with tough new oversight and regulations of our financial institutions. There must be a clear process to wind down this plan and restore private sector assets into private sector hands after restoring stability to the system. Taxpayers must share in any upside benefit that such stability brings.
Finally, this plan should be part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20. We are facing a global financial crisis and the United States can take a leadership role in coordinating a global response to the present crisis, as well as greater regulatory cooperation and alignment to prevent future crises.
As we move beyond immediate actions to stabilize financial markets, it is important that we build upon the ideas I have laid out over the last several years about how to modernize our financial regulation. Eliminating consumer protections and lax oversight contributed to the crisis we are in today, and establishing commonsense rules of the road for our financial system can help restore confidence in our financial system.
Given the gravity of this situation, and based on conversations I have had with both Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke, I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal. It is critical at this point that the markets and the public have confidence that their work will be unimpeded by partisan wrangling, and that leaders in both parties work in concert to solve the problem at hand.

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