By MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN and COREY BOLES
WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush signed the biggest government intervention in the financial markets since the Great Depression after U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers wary of growing signs of the nation’s economic distress voted Friday in favor of a $700 billion Wall Street rescue package.
Mr. Bush welcomed the passage of a rescue plan, saying it will help the nation’s economy withstand the financial turmoil. The legislation is “essential to helping America’s economy weather the financial crisis,” said the president, giving a brief statement outside the White House.
Mr. Bush acknowledged widespread concern about using taxpayer money to bail out wealthy bankers, but said the ultimate cost will be “far less” than the initial government outlay, since the plan is to sell the toxic assets back into the market once it recovers.
But he warned that “Americans should also expect that it will take some time for this legislation to have its full impact on our economy.”
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