inaction will only serve to deepen this crisis “
Washington. (EFE). – The president of the United States, Barack Obama , said that the banks are to blame for the economic crisis because they have taken “exorbitant” risks with the purchase of titles of dubious quality.
“What has gotten us into this mess have been the exorbitant risks assumed by the banks in doubtful titles with the money of others,” Obama said at his first press conference as president.
The president of the United States said that the financial rescue plan that his Government will announce tomorrow will correct the “errors” of the intervention in the banking system carried out by his predecessor, George W. Bush , as the “lack of consistency and clarity “of the initiative.
Obama stressed that his Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, will offer “clear and specific plans to increase credit.” Geithner will explain how the administration will use the remaining $ 350 billion from the $ 700 billion financial rescue fund approved by Congress last year. , during the Bush administration.
According to the president, the aid that is extended to the banks will be conditioned to limit the compensation of their top executives “since they do not rent planes when it is not necessary”. He also said that his plan will have an important component aimed at the real estate market , the origin of the crisis.
The program will use between 50,000 and 100,000 million dollars to help homeowners avoid foreclosure , according to White House officials.
It will also establish a system for banks to get rid of bad securities that weigh down their accounts and with it the Government will give incentives to investors to buy them.
As it has leaked to the press, the administration will also expand a program of the Federal Reserve that currently finances the purchase of automobile loans, student loans and credit cards to provide liquidity to markets directly, without going through private banks.
As far as the new rescue plan is known, the US central bank would also enter the mortgage market.
Federal Government, the only entity that can resuscitate the US economy
The president also said that “the federal government is the only entity left with the resources necessary to resuscitate our economy.”
“Doing nothing, or too little, will cause greater deficits in jobs, income and confidence and” that is a deficit that can turn a crisis into a catastrophe , “the US president warned in a statement, before submitting to the questions of journalists.
Obama reiterated the arguments he has been using in his campaign to defend the plan, endowed in its latest version with 827,000 million dollars and which he assures will serve to create or save between three and four million jobs.
“This plan is not perfect, no plan is, and I can not assure you that all the content of the plan will work exactly as we expect, but I can tell you with total confidence that inaction will only serve to deepen this crisis and the problems suffered by millions of people. Americans, “he argued.
The Republican opposition in Congress has harshly criticized the plan, demanding more tax cuts and less investment spending , which it believes will not contribute to creating enough jobs.
The measure, which was approved in the House of Representatives two weeks ago, managed to save an important obstacle by passing in the Senate a preliminary vote by 61 votes to 36, just one more than necessary. The Upper House will finally vote on the bill this Tuesday.
Obama, who during his election campaign said he was willing to dialogue with enemy countries, was surprisingly optimistic about the relationship with Iran , the country that was the “black beast” of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
The US president expressed his belief that it is possible to maintain a “relationship of mutual respect and progress” with Iran and said that, in the process of reviewing the policy towards the Islamic Republic , “openings” will be sought in the coming months. for an attempt at dialogue.
“In the coming months we will look for openings that can be created where we can start sitting at a table, face to face, diplomatic openings that will allow us to move our policy in a new direction,” he said.
He said that “we will set a series of objectives in these talks,” among them, make it clear to Iran that its nuclear aspirations can create an atomic weapons race in the region, or that its financing of radical groups such as Hezbollah or Hamas is unacceptable.
The US president was also positive about greater collaboration with Russia in the field of non-proliferation, and indicated that he has spoken with President Dmitri Medvedev “about the importance of reestablishing talks on the reduction of our nuclear arsenals” .
In this way, he assured, “we can go together to deal with other countries and begin to strengthen the anti-proliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened in recent years.”
In Pakistan , Obama acknowledged that the border area with Afghanistan known as FATA (Tribal Areas under Federal Administration) has become a refuge for terrorist groups, but indicated that his envoy for the area, Richard Holbrooke, will tell Islamabad that this is intolerable for the US and for Pakistan.
In any case, he insisted, he will not tolerate the al Qaeda terrorist network or its leader, Osama Bin Laden, finding refuge in the area.
He admitted that the situation in Afghanistan, where he promised to reinforce US troops during his campaign, is complicated and he said he will have to develop an “intelligent and effective” strategy there.
He also did not rule out the possibility of investigating “clear cases” of torture perpetrated against terrorist suspects during the previous administration, although he said he prefers to “look ahead.”