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US $700bn bailout plan finally approved

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by Kay Mitchell

Following a week of talks, the $700 billion (£380 billion) bailout plan has finally been approved.

The plan had been designed to prevent financial meltdown and was essential to the financial security of every American, according to President George W. Bush.

On Friday night, the vote which was nervously watched by Wall Street, saw the House of Representatives approve the rescue plan by a margin of 263 to 171.

Following the announcement, President Bush said the plan will take time to implement and said this step represents decisive action to ease the credit crunch that is threatening our economy.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said we now need to shine the bright light of accountability on our financial markets to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve’s chairman, said the he legislation is a critical step toward stabilising our financial markets and ensuring an uninterrupted flow of credit to households and businesses.

Late last week, fears that the plan wouldn’t receive approval sent shares plummeting on Wall Street and throughout the world.

The plan was revised late last week and includes sweeteners such as tax breaks for families and businesses, as well as raising the amount of savings guarantee from $100,000 to $250,000.

In related news, figures from the Labor Department show that US employers axed 159,000 jobs last month – the highest for over 5 years.

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News posted: October 5, 2008

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