Bush: Intervention not "cure-all" for crisis

Financial Crisis Posted on

Asserting the global financial crisis is "not a failure of the free market," President George W. Bush on Thursday called on the world leaders meeting this weekend to agree on a modest set of reforms aimed at preventing future collapses.

Bush's main message to the leaders about to converge on Washington: Reforms won't help if they overreach by abandoning the free market and restricting trade.

"Government intervention is not a cure-all," Bush was to say in a speech here, according to prepared remarks released in advance by the White House.

The president was delivering a vigorous defense of free-market capitalism and easier global trade to frame his approach to the high-level gathering he's hosting in Washington this weekend. Bush invited representatives of some of the world's biggest industrial democracies, emerging nations and international bodies to Washington to start developing a more coordinated world response to the economic woes that have millions of people struggling to keep their jobs, their homes and their hopes.

With the severe economic downturn threatening to end Bush's tenure on a sour note before President-elect Barack Obama takes over, he will host the leaders at a White House dinner Friday and review causes and solutions for the financial mess Saturday.

It was fitting that Bush's argument against regulatory overreach was being delivered not in Washington but from the heart of Wall Street. His speech venue was the venerable Federal Hall that was home to the first Congress and is within shouting distance of New York Stock Exchange.

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