Paulson: Bold Approach Needed to End Crisis

In this Thursday, July 10, 2008 picture, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on systemic risk and the financial markets. The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve announced steps Sunday, July 13, 2008 to shore up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Friday sketched the outlines of a bold approach to confront the nation's financial crisis. "We're talking hundreds of billions" of dollars, he said.

Paulson said he would work through the weekend with congressional leaders to reach agreement on a plan that would address the root problems of the financial crisis gripping the country.

"This needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get to the heart of the problem," he told reporters at the Treasury Department.

Paulson said that the new troubled-asset relief program that he wants Congress to enact must be large enough to have the necessary effect while protecting taxpayers as much as possible.

"I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative - a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion," Paulson said.

"The financial security of all Americans ... depends on our ability to restore our financial institutions to a sound footing," Paulson said.

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