October 10, 2008 / 7:39 PM / in 9 years

Obama says U.S. has tools for crisis, must use them

2 Min Read

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - White House Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. policymakers have the tools they need to address the deepening financial crisis but it is crucial that they use them right away.

"What they need to do is use the tools that they've got immediately," Obama told Reuters during a stop in Columbus, Ohio to visit campaign volunteers.

"We've given them authority to capitalize the banks, we've given them the authority to buy up assets, we've given them the authority even to apply guarantees. The Fed is already using its authority on the commercial paper markets."

But Obama said more needs to be done to communicate to the markets the steps that will be carried out to address the turmoil.

"The problem is that there's been a lack of coordination, a lack of marketing of what's being done, clarity -- so that the market understands these clear signals," he said.

"My hope is over the weekend that package is being put together in a way that can really start making a difference."

The U.S. Congress last week approved a $700 billion rescue package that gives that would allow the government buy up troubled assets.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven major economies are meeting in Washington as panic selling roils stock markets around the world.

Policymakers are contemplating a next step after joint interest-rate cuts have failed to stem huge stock losses.

Reporting by Caren Bohan, editing by Chris Wilson

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