Bush acknowledges financial 'pain'

By: CNN
By: CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Bush on Monday acknowledged the "pain" of investors and workers in the finance industry, but assured the public that the government is working to iron out the problems.

"I know Americans are concerned about the adjustments that are taking place in our financial markets," said Bush, speaking at the White House Rose Garden. "We are working to reduce disruptions and minimize the impact on the [broader economy]."

Bush didn't offer much detail as the Dow plunged over 200 points and the finance industry suffered one of its worst crises ever, stemming from its investments in the battered real estate sector.

"In the short run, adjustments in the financial markets can be painful, for people worried about their investments, and for employees of the firms," said Bush.

Here are the latest developments in the finance sector:

Lehman: Lehman Brothers (LEH, Fortune 500) filed for the biggest bankruptcy in history after it failed to find a buyer, triggering a 95%stock plunge to 19 cents a share.

Merrill: Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) said it would buy Merrill Lynch (MER, Fortune 500) for $50 billion in stock, or $29. Merrill's stock surged 24% on the news to $21.20 a share, while Bank of America plunged 15% to $28.59 a share.

AIG: The stock plunged 44% to $6.89 a share for AIG (AIG, Fortune 500), after the insurance giant said it was getting ready to announce a restructuring.

Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co., described this as the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s and the railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s.

"We've never witnessed this before," said Hogan earlier in the morning, before Bush's speech. "There's no road map for this."

Merrill soars, other banks plunge

Lehman files for bankruptcy

Is anyone left save WaMu?

AIG plunges as Wall Street waits

Bank of America to buy Merrill


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