President Bush tried to reassure the nation today that the economy is strong enough to weather the current crisis, but by the time Bush stopped speaking nine minutes later, the market had dropped another 107 points.
The president's encouraging words have historically been able to boost the market, but in the current economic crisis, Bush's ability to instill confidence has been mixed at best.
Speaking after the Dow opened down 200 points this morning and as the numbers continued to drop, this morning's address marked the 10th time the president has spoken on the issue since news of the bailout plan first surfaced.
Following the previous nine times the president specifically addressed the economic crisis, the market ended the day on an upturn on five occasions and closed down the other four.
This morning the president told Americans that "the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets."
"We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal," he said. "We're using these tools aggressively."
Despite repeated assurances to Americans that they should be confident and that economic officials are aggressively taking action to stabilize the financial system, things haven't been improving.
Friday morning began on a gloomy note, and immediately following the president's speech, negative patterns were apparent. The Dow was down 78.70 at the beginning of the president's statement but dropped to 185.66 by the end of his address.
The Dow dipped Friday morning below the 8000 mark for the first time since March 2003, and overnight global markets in Asia and Europe experienced more sharp drops.
Bush was forthcoming in his Friday morning statement, acknowledging Americans are deeply unsettled.
"Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market -- much of it driven by uncertainty and fear," he said. "This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being."
Still, Bush also expressed hope about his meeting with G-7 finance ministers this weekend in an effort to coordinate a global response to the spreading fiscal nightmare.
"Through these efforts, the world is sending an unmistakable signal," the president said this morning. "We're in this together, and we'll come through this together."
"What we're trying to do is stop the bleeding, strengthen the markets, return it to -- return people's confidence," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Friday afternoon.
Perino added that the Treasury Department will take "two to several weeks" to implement the $700 billion rescue plan.
In anticipation of the president's Saturday meeting with the G-7, Perino said, "The goal of the meeting overall is to continue the good communication and cooperative spirit of trying to find common solutions, while respecting the fact that each nation has individual problems and challenges and needs and ways to address them."
Bush has also mentioned the economic rescue plan during 13 other events and three radio addresses in recent weeks.