Reports of new US rescue arm lift hopes amid financial crisis

WASHINGTON, September 18, 2008 (AFP) – Reports that the US government is preparing the creation of a new entity to rescue troubled financial firms lifted Wall Street Thursday and raised hopes for an end to the credit crisis.

US President George W. Bush huddled with the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and his senior economic advisors to discuss “the serious conditions in our financial markets,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

Fratto refused to comment on the substance of Bush’s 45-minute afternoon meeting with senior economic officials, including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and Edward Lazear, head of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Treasury officials and members of Congress will discuss the financial turmoil in the evening, the White House later announced.

Central banks pumped more than 300 billion dollars into the roiling global banking system in an attempt to soothe financial markets whipsawed by worries about troubled banks.

Earlier, Bush vowed that his administration would meet the challenges of the financial crisis.

“As our recent actions demonstrate, my administration is foc