US moving 'very quickly' on crisis: Geithner

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The United States is moving "very quickly" to remove the troubled home mortgage-based assets clogging the banking system, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday.


"You?ll see us move very quickly in the next few weeks to lay out a plan to help deal with these real estate related assets that are at the core of the financial system," he said in an interview with CNN.

"And it is an important obligation of government to make sure that we're moving very, very quickly to try to address those challenges," he said.

He declined to state the amount of money required to clean up the bank balance sheets of the toxic assets amid speculation that it could cost about two trillion dollars.

"I wouldn?t look at those numbers," he said, when asked about the two trillion dollar figure.

But Geithner said the government would pour as much resources as required to restore the health of the financial system.

"And we?re going to do what it takes going forward and it?s going to take more to do it but we?re going to do it as carefully as we can, with strong protections to the taxpayer, with conditions to make sure the money is going to generate greater lending to the small businesses across the country."

The toxic assets, mainly linked to troubled US mortgages at the epicenter of financial turmoil, must be wiped off the banks' books for them to resume lending and jolt the economy from prolonged recession.

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