Paulson And Bernanke: Economic Melt-down "ongoing"

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that their agencies need greater regulatory powers to deal with the current economic meltdown in the financial and housing markets.

“The financial turmoil is ongoing, and our efforts today are concentrated on helping the financial system return to more normal functioning,” said Bernanke to the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday morning.

Paulson had an equally dreary report for homeowners worried about tumbling home prices.

“Many of today's unusually high number of foreclosures are not preventable,” he said. “Due to the lax credit and underwriting standards of the past years, some people took out mortgages they can't possibly afford, and they will lose their homes.”

Homeowners should not anticipate a government bail-out, said Paulson.

“These borrowers can and should be living up to their mortgage commitment—government intervention here would be inappropriate.”
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