My fellow Americans. We face extraordinarily difficult times on a number of fronts. My Administration has inherited difficulties unprecedented in the adult lifetime and memory of anyone younger than about 90. Tonight I plan to discuss with you the interrelated challenges facing our economy and our financial system and our plans for dealing with these challenges.

During the campaign, I said that instead of telling you what you wanted to hear, I would tell you what you needed to know. Tonight I plan to tell you what you need to know at some length.

Telling you truthfully what you need to know will involve some unpleasantness. There are some who may say: “You can't handle the truth.” I say that you are entitled to the truth and we, as a nation, can handle the truth and the future. In any event, in the current economic and financial situation, the truth will become apparent, can not be hidden, and will be demanded by each of you as you determine your spending and investment decisions. The other people who can handle the truth and who will demand the truth are private investors. They will either get full disclosure of the financial condition of our banks and companies (which disclosure has been required by law since the about 1934 when the Securities and Exchange Commission was established) or they will exercise their absolute right to refuse to invest their money in American banks and companies.

We face a global problem. While we will continue to work with other countries, tonight I will discuss what we can and will do in the United States.

Before turning to my Administration's plans for the future, it is imperative that we consider and understand how and why we find ourselves in the current situation. Our goal is both to solve a series of current problems and to prevent these problems or similar problems of this magnitude and severity from occurring again. In particular, my Administration is committed to consult with and to act with the Congress to put in place (or, more properly, to put back in place) a number of wise protections designed to prevent the current situation or a similar situation from arising again. These protections, if diligently enforced and maintained, will offer a substantial prospect that in the future we will not again face similar economic and financial circumstances. The need for, and continued need for, these protections only became apparent after enormous national suffering and countless personal tragedies during the Great Depression. It is indeed unfortunate that some of my predecessors and other elected officials, of both parties, chose to follow the advice of those fallacious fools who confidently, facilely, arrogantly, and superciliously advocated and supported the destruction of protections put in place to prevent another Great Depression.

In broad terms, the current situation is that we have an economy which at employment of between 96% and 100% of the work force would produce goods and services with a value of about $15T each year. This is referred to as our Gross National Product or GNP. Our GNP had been growing at a rate of a few percent a year. The Chair of my Council of Economic Advisors estimates that GNP will fall by about 7 to 8% this year or somewhere between $1T and $1.2T. That is, the demand for goods and services will fall by somewhere between $1T and $1.2T in 2009.

The recently enacted stimulus bill is intended to replace some of the lost demand and put people back to work.

Your salary is a part of GNP. As GNP falls, fewer people are required to provide goods and services and more people become unemployed. At present, about another 500,000 to 600,000 of us are losing our jobs every month. As people lose their jobs they become less and less able to spend money and to meet their financial obligations. As the ability to meet financial obligations decreases, banks suffer more loan losses. In addition, starting in about 2001 just before the events of 9/11, and continuing thereafter, certain unconscionably risky practices in the housing and finance sector increased the amount of dubious loans and financial instruments on the books of companies in the financial sector of our economy. When the housing bubble collapsed, these companies incurred wholly foreseeable and predictable losses which has reduced their capital. As the capital of a bank drops it becomes less able under current law and regulation to make new loans. As new loans become less available it becomes more and more difficult for companies to operate and for individuals to obtain credit they need in their lives and in their businesses.

Various types of new spending generate various amounts of additional spending. For example, for every additional dollar spent on unemployment insurance benefits, demand increases by about $1.70. For every additional dollar devoted to tax cuts, demand increases by about 30 cents. Our goal was and is to increase demand. If all of the money in the stimulus bill went into unemployment insurance benefits, paying health insurance for those out of work, and rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (our railroads, highways, bridges, tunnels, and airports), the effect on GNP would have been substantially larger than what it will be. However, in order to obtain the votes needed to pass the bill in the Senate, we had to agree to about $260B of tax cuts which provide far less than one additional dollar of demand for each dollar of revenue given up or spent by our government.

Additionally, the debt we are incurring to prevent or lessen the current economic and financial hardships will be repaid in the future, possibly by future generations. Once the economy has recovered, my Administration plans to return to budget surpluses to repay the debt as was the policy of the last Democratic Administration. However, given the magnitude of the current problems, we may still be running a deficit 4 or 8 years from now. It is only fair that, to the extent possible, current spending provide benefit to future generations who may have to pay for our current spending. That means that in fairness once basic needs have been met, to the extent possible, current stimulus spending should be on infrastructure which will benefit future generations. We are still using today infrastructure built by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930's which helped us emerge from the Great Depression.

Hopefully, we will not suffer through another Great Depression.

My maternal grandfather and grandmother lived through the Great Depression and told me about it. They were firmly convinced that our government would prevent another Great Depression. Those of you who went to school in the 1950's and 1960s when memories of the Depression were still fresh, were educated about what happened and what Pres. Roosevelt did to bring the country through it. Over time, as the Depression receded into the past, the content and immediacy of our school lessons changed and our teachers no longer were able to transmit first hand experiences of living through that time of suffering. Our citizens and elected officials became less educated about the causes, effects, and suffering of the Great Depression and more susceptible to the sophistry of those who for their own political and/or financial ends sought to tear down the wall of protections erected and maintained to prevent another Great Depression.

As President Abraham Lincoln wrote, it is the purpose of government to do for people what they can not do for themselves at all or can not do as well. The solution to our current economic and financial problems is beyond the power of any one person or group of people to solve. It is the driving purpose of my Administration to direct the government to solve these economic and financial problems for our employers, the people of America.

The essential needs which must be met by the economy, whether or not people have a job in the family, are food, shelter, health care, and education. To the extent possible, we plan to direct new spending to provide for people who are out of work, to make sure they have health care so they will stay healthy (thus avoiding substantial preventable medical costs) and will be able to work when jobs become available.

The financial system helps our modern economy function. The essential needs which must be met by the banking system are a means for people and companies to save, to make payments, to obtain credit and use credit responsibly as for example with a credit card, to buy a home, to buy a car, to finance an education, to finance an established or small business. These needs can be met and are being met by community banks familiar with the people, businesses, and property for which they are providing loans. Traditional properly run and supervised banking meeting community needs and servicing credit cards is a relatively stable business with well known and well-defined risks and reasonable, stable rewards. A traditional banking institution determines the creditworthiness of the person or firm to whom it is lending. In the case of a home loan as many of you know from your own experience, the banker will verify the value of the property by personal inspection, will verify the income of the borrower, will verify the borrower's credit history and other obligations, will require a down payment, and will determine that the borrower is able to meet all monthly payments, and will not loan more than 75 or 80% of the value of the property. Thus, due to the down payment and loaning less than the value of the property, even if the borrower defaults and even if local home prices fall, the bank will probably suffer no loss or a very small loss.

Until their recent conversion under the previous Administration to bank holding companies, there had been a number of large investment banks which raised large amounts of capital for new and established businesses. These investment banks underwrite securities, provide capital in exchange for securities to companies issuing securities, and then take the risk that they (the investment banks) will be able to sell the securities to investors. This is a different business than community banking, with a much different culture in terms of the rewards and risks involved, than taking deposits, making home and car loans in a community, and servicing credit cards. The risks and rewards in investment banking are substantially greater than those in traditional properly operated and supervised community banking.

In the 1920's, banks took deposits and underwrote securities. When the securities markets collapsed starting in 1929, the losses on securities depleted the capital of banks underwriting securities. This caused a problem for the banks, for the financial sector, for depositors in banks none of which then had federal deposit insurance, for the economy, and for our country. That problem was called the Great Depression.

To prevent a recurrence of underwriting losses or securities losses adversely affecting a bank's capital, the Congress passed and President Roosevelt signed into law the Glass Steagall Act. That act, in broad terms, barred a financial institution from both taking deposits and underwriting securities. Unfortunately, as memories of the Great Depression waned and as those who directly experienced it aged and were no longer in a position to drive the national debate or to oppose the fallacious fools favoring repeal, the Glass Steagall Act was repealed in the 1990's. Shortly thereafter, a growing number of financial institutions, especially large financial institutions, began taking deposits and underwriting, trading, and brokering securities.

The current problems we face do not arise from an exact duplicate of the situation in the 1920's and 1930's.

However, what did happen and what did cause our current problems is that the culture of risk and reward from investment banking was allowed to infect and compromise the traditional banking sector. That is, as an institution both operated as a traditional bank and dealt in securities, those at all levels of the institution naturally enough desired the higher rewards of the securities side of the business. With higher rewards come higher risks. The shareholders of the institutions, the directors of the institutions, and the federal regulators failed to eliminate, control, or supervise these risks properly. Rather than dealing in loans on local homes in their community, the securities side of many institutions began securitizing home loans many of which were made on homes far outside their local community and knowledge, without any down payment, or without an adequate down payment from someone who could reasonably be expected to make all of the monthly payments on the loan.

Traditionally, banks made money by operating very successfully on the spread between what they paid for money (the interest rate on deposits and other liabilities) and the interest rate they received on assets (loans to borrowers). As long as one matches the due dates on the liabilities with the payments from the assets, the business is profitable and easily managed. However, when banks maintained loans on their own books, they always had to pay attention to credit analysis (that is analyzing whether a borrower could repay a loan as agreed). As soon as the bank started securitizing substandard loans made to borrowers who could not be expected to repay the loan, the banks incentive to perform proper and complete credit analysis decreased because the bank’s profits did not depend on making good loans which would be repaid over 30 years but on making loans just good enough to look good for the short amount of time it might take to sell the loan to someone else.

As an aside, I note that for most of the time period in question the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) required down payments of at least 20% on their loans and loans which they securitized. As substandard loans proliferated, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were somehow drawn into the substandard loan business.

In any event, the securities into which home loans were converted had many complicated features (for example, a purchaser of a low interest portion (or tranche) of the security might be entitled to first claim on mortgage payments while a purchaser of a higher interest portion of the security might be entitled to be paid only after those with lower interest rate portions were entirely paid). The companies issuing the securities paid rating agencies to rate the securities. Thus, the firm which would profit from the sale of the securities was paying the firm (the rating agency) whose rating would determine whether the securities could be sold and at what price the securities could be sold. This is called a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest are generally bad and should be avoided or fully disclosed and controlled. The bottom line was that the investors in these securities, the shareholders and directors of the firms underwriting and issuing the securities (in exchange for very substantial and lucrative fees), and the federal and state regulators and elected officials did little or nothing to stop these risky practices or the conflicts of interest. The investors did not perform their own credit analysis of the underlying loans but relied on the ratings firms with the conflicts of interest.

In certain circumstances, the first round of securities was turned into yet another round of securities sometimes referred to as Collateralized Debt Obligations. Some of the debt securitized in a CDO was from home loans and some may have been, in certain circumstances, from corporations.

An incentive to do away with or neglect traditional credit analysis also fell by the wayside when it came to corporate debt or corporate bonds. Not only did rating agencies rate corporate debt, many of the large financial firms began writing something called Credit Default Swaps on corporate debt. In simple terms, a corporation would issue $100M of bonds. The writer of a Credit Default Swap (CDS) on the bonds would agree to insure against a default in exchange for a so-called insurance premium of perhaps $200,000 per year. Originally, the firm which would want to buy the CDS was the firm which purchased the $100M of bonds. The writer of the CDS would agree to post, for example, $5M of collateral to support payment of the full $100M if necessary. As long as the firm issuing the underlying $100M of debt was AAA rated (again by the same rating agencies with a conflict of interest again paid by the firm issuing the $100M of bonds), the premium for a year on a CDS was relatively low and the prospect of default was low. The firms issuing the insurance policy (CDS) viewed it as a means to do one thing - collect premium without ever having any need to pay the full $100M. However, as the rating of the debt issuer dropped, the probability that the issuer of a CDS on the debt would have to pay increased and the amount of collateral the CDS issuer had to post rose. Further, there was an informal market in Credit Default Swaps among those who did not hold the debt but merely liked to gamble on the likelihood of a default. There apparently were firms who bought corporate debt, bought CDS's to "insure" the debt, did not perform their own credit analysis of the corporate debt, relied on the ratings agencies with the conflicts of interest to rate the debt, and did not inquire as to whether the issuer of the CDS could pay in the event of default or whether the issuer of the CDS had obligations on other CDS's. When economic conditions began to deteriorate, companies issuing Credit Default Swaps had to post more collateral. In one case, without the assistance of about $150B of taxpayer money, one issuer of Credit Default Swaps would have been unable to meet its obligations. My Administration's inquiry is continuing into exactly who benefited from the bailout with $150B of taxpayer funds of AIG. That is, when AIG met its obligations on the Credit Default Swaps for which it collected premiums, who did it pay? What would have been the condition of these counterparties of AIG and the counterparties' shareholders without the gift of $150B from the taxpayers? The previous Administration should have made this information public. We will make it public within a week.

By referring to the stock market, we may be able to understand one thing about a CDS - the writer assumes an almost unlimited risk in return for very little. When you buy 100 shares of stock for $50 per share, your potential loss is limited to $5,000 and your potential gain is unlimited. When you sell 100 shares of stock short at 50, your potential gain is limited to $5,000 and your potential loss is unlimited. A similar, although not exactly identical situation is faced by the insurer who issues a CDS on $100M of corporate debt due in 10 years. If the insurance contract provides 10 years of coverage for $200,000 per year, the potential profit over the 10 years is $2M. The potential loss is $100M which loss could come as soon as the first premium is paid.

Thus, in the current environment, the health of the financial sector (and in particular home loans) is related to the health of our economy. As our economy improves, there should be a decreasing number of home loans which are not current or are in default. Similarly, if the economy worsens, the number of home loans in default will probably increase and the banks will be forced to write off additional capital as the loans default. Foreclosures are costly for many reasons and damaging beyond their financial cost to the families forced to leave their home. We will take steps to reduce the number of foreclosures and keep people in their homes to the extent possible. I thank certain big banks for their agreement in February, at the request of the House Committee on Financial Services, to stop foreclosure proceedings on certain homes for periods ranging up to one month.

To summarize, we need jobs. We need a viable banking system. We need to maintain and will maintain deposit insurance as before on the first $250,000 deposited by any depositor in any federally insured bank. The fund to support this insurance should be replenished over time. We need investment banks to raise capital for corporations which will create jobs for Americans. We need the money to pay for all of this. To the extent we can pay for the measures we are putting in place now out of current income to solve the problems created by this generation of Americans, we will not have to pay interest on the money and we will not have to leave this burden of government debt to our children and grandchildren.

Accordingly, we will implement certain measures now and will seek such legislation as is needed on an expedited basis.

First, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Chair of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank will introduce legislation tomorrow morning to do the following:
    a. allow federal bankruptcy judges to adjust the terms of first home loans included in a bankruptcy filing by a homeowner (I note that owners of second homes now have this protection under our bankruptcy laws and I leave it to you, the citizens and your elected representatives and the appropriate Congressional committees, to determine how the law came to provide protection for second homes and not first homes),

    b. ban the issuers, underwriters, or sellers of securities from paying anything to any rating agency to rate the issuer's securities, and

    c. re-instate the Glass Steagall Act and provide for the complete and permanent separation of stable traditional community banking from risky investment banking.
We expect that lenders will be encouraged to renegotiate home loans if they know they can only foreclose on a home with the approval of a bankruptcy judge. We will also make $150B available to qualified borrowers in their homes suffering from predatory lending or temporary economic difficulties or both. We expect that the principal amount on a given outstanding home loan can be decreased by negotiation and that money from the $150B can assist homeowners in their homes to make lower monthly payments after the re-negotiation. To protect and recover its investment, the government will receive a lien on the property and on the proceeds of any sale of the property. We expect this money will be recovered when the properties are eventually sold. Full details of this plan will be announced by the Secretary of the Treasury later this week.

Second, until appropriate legislation is enacted, and effective at 11 p.m. EST tonight, the SEC will by special regulation ban payments from companies. issuers, underwriters, or sellers of securities to ratings agencies to rate securities or issuers or companies. While the normal rule-making process will be followed for the final version of this regulation, in the event the implementation of this special regulation is delayed by court action, the SEC in fulfilling its legal duties to enforce the law will require explicit, detailed, and prominent large-type disclosure on the front page of the prospectus for any proposed security offering of any payment to any rating agency made in connection with the security offering and full disclosure of all actual or potential conflicts of interest between any rating agency, the security issuer, the underwriter, and all potential investors.

Third, the Treasury Department will, in cooperation with the various federal and state financial regulators, continue on an expedited basis with its stress testing of the financial condition of every bank with assets in excess of $100B. The stress testing and analysis of capital adequacy will extend as soon as possible to every institution in our nation whose deposits are federally insured.

At this point I want to remind you that the intentional neglect of financial regulation giving rise to the possibility of nationalization of some banks was the considered policy of the preceding Republican Administration. This policy enjoyed the active support of many Republicans in Congress. Given that the normal and likely outcome of this policy of intentional neglect is insolvency and consequent nationalization or receivership, it is reasonable to conclude that any nationalization is the preferred policy choice of the Republican Party. To the extent receivership is the result for any bank, the current policy (although not the active neglect of the last 8 years) will thus have bipartisan support.

I would prefer that the banking sector remain under private ownership with active and robust federal regulation sufficient to protect the public interest. To the extent any bank must be placed in receivership, our policy will be to sell the “good” assets at full value fair market value to private owners capable of responsibly operating a federally insured bank. The proceeds, less any administrative fee, will be used to reimburse the FDIC, uninsured depositors, other short term creditors, debt holders, and shareholders in that order. The so-called “bad” assets will also be managed by the federal government and eventually sold or written off with the proceeds distributed in the same order.

This Administration is opposed to the privatization of profit and the socialization of loss. Unfortunately, the preceding Administration allowed billions if not trillions of dollars of profit created under questionable circumstances to be privatized. Now, we as a nation are stuck with the task of trying to avoid or limit the offsetting socialization of loss.

Fourth, the results of the stress testing will be announced at 9:00 p.m. EST on a Friday within several weeks. The federal guarantee of the first $250,000 of deposits per depositor in any federally insured bank will remain in full force and effect. Other previously announced guarantees (as for example of money market funds which paid an insurance fee) will also remain in full force and effect. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve will provide funds necessary for the deposit insurance in the event the amount needed exceeds that available to the FDIC. Insolvent banks will be placed into receivership by the FDIC that evening. We expect that those banks and all of their branches will re-open for business as usual, but under new ownership which may be the FDIC, on the next business morning at the usual time with the same bank officers and employees you usually see and deal with at your branch.

Those banks which are solvent, adequately capitalized, and operating in a safe and sound manner in accord with all applicable laws and regulations will continue in business.

Over time it will be our goal to remove from the U.S. market any institution too big too fail and to decrease bank size to the point where any one bank can fail without substantial systemic risk. This may merely mean that large institutions will be split into smaller institutions and need not necessarily subject shareholders or bondholders to inordinate losses. We will exercise every regulatory effort to make sure those banks which are solvent continue to operate in a safe and sound manner and stay in business lending money to assist our citizens, our companies, and our country’s economy.

Fifth, any institution receiving federal dollars will be subject to written limits agreed to in advance on paying compensation and dividends. The limits will also be applicable to institutions which have previously taken federal dollars. Within those limits, the board of directors, as approved by an annual vote of the shareholders, may set any compensation limits they deem appropriate. Annual compensation per employee will be limited to $400,000 per year. Any bonus must be limited to one-third of annual compensation and must be paid only in restricted stock of the company which may be sold beginning no sooner than one year after all federal funds have been repaid as agreed. Dividends will be limited to one cent per share per quarter on shares outstanding as of the close of business today. Firms raising new capital must do so with a separate class of stock which may accrue dividends of any amount set by the board and approved by a vote of the shareholders for each such class of stock but which will not actually pay dividends until all federal funds have been repaid as agreed.

There are some who think that certain very highly compensated people who helped run the banking sector into the ground may leave the sector if their pay is restricted once their banks become dependent on federal money. That very well may be the case. I wish those bankers who leave good health and a long life.

Sixth, the obligations of current CDOs and CDS's may be met. A few minutes ago, regulations were signed permanently banning as of 11:00 p.m. EST tonight the sale, purchase, marketing, trading, swapping, or any other dealing of any type, kind, or description in any new CDOs or CDSs by any person, company, or entity in the United States or using or holding any deposit in any federally insured institution, or trading on or having an account used to trade on any U.S. stock exchange or commodity exchange or using, or interacting in any way with any federally insured or federally regulated financial institution. Federal regulators will encourage those obligated under CDOs or CDSs (and especially CDSs) to negotiate an end to their obligations as soon as possible. By the close of business one week from tonight, each firm having any right or obligation under any current CDO or CDS will file with the government, and make available on paper at its headquarters and in each of its branch offices, and post on its website a full statement of the terms of each such CDO or CDS. Each firm will keep this list current and update it within one business day following the change in any such right or obligation (as for example the end of any such right or obligation). As long as the firm has any right or obligation under any CDO or CDS, a complete statement of the terms of each CDO or CDS will be included as an appendix to the firm's audited financial statements. The auditors shall audit and certify the accuracy of the appendix or state that the appendix is unauditable in whole or in part or can not be certified along with all reasons for such failure.

Further, as of 11 p.m. EST tonight, the pooled securitization of any type of loan (including but not limited to any home loan, automobile loan, or credit card receivable) will be allowed in the United States only on a strictly pro rata basis with payments of debtors into the pool being distributed strictly pro rata to those who contributed to the pool. In other words, there will be no more fancy, complicated, difficult to understand and difficult to unwind tranches involved in securitization in this country or using any financial facility or exchange in this country. If you put up 2% of the money for a pool of securitized loans, you will get back 2% of the proceeds paid by the debtors to the administrator of the pool. Invest in U.S. real estate, not in a gambling casino.

Additionally, and subject to review over time, federally insured institutions issuing home mortgages in this country will require a down payment of at least 20% of the loan. No federally insured institution will be allowed to loan more than 80% of the value of a property. The directors of each such federally insured institution will be required to certify personally under penalty of perjury on the fifth of each month that their institution has been in compliance with this requirement for the preceding month.

Seventh, balance sheets will fully reflect all assets and liabilities of a firm. There will be no off balance sheet activities for any financial institution or any public company in this country. There will be no off balance sheet Special Investment Vehicles or off balance sheet Special Purpose Vehicles. By the close of business one week from tonight, each firm filing public accounting reports will file with the government, make available on paper at its headquarters and in each of its branch offices, and post on its website a full statement of all currently off balance sheet assets and liabilities. Beginning when a firm's next quarterly accounting report is due, all previously off-balance sheet assets and liabilities will be included in each quarterly accounting report and in each audited annual accounting report filed thereafter.

Eighth, mark to market accounting will be the rule and will be encouraged and enforced. Institutions will only be allowed with advance regulatory approval to value at redemption value investments they intend to hold to maturity which are either a) backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government or b) home loans always owned by the same bank and made by that bank direct to a homeowner who is current on payments, who has never been late on a payment, who is in residence at the home, and who has equity in the property equal to at least the greater of 30% of the current property value or 30% of the original loan amount.

Ninth, we will train and employ more bank examiners and staff attorneys and auditors at the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This Administration’s goal is to have enough bank examiners to examine each bank once a year, to be able to examine troubled banks needing special attention quarterly or more frequently, to have a permanent examining staff on-site at each bank with more than $100B in assets, and to have a reserve corps of trained and experienced examiners who may be called upon as needed to meet time critical examining needs. We will eliminate the ability of banks to shift from one regulating agency to another without the approval of each regulating agency and the Treasury Secretary. Our goal is also to have enough staff attorneys and auditors at the SEC to review when and as filed all financial statements of companies filing with the SEC or the CFTC and to have sufficient additional staff including a reserve corps of trained and experienced staff attorneys who may be called upon as needed to meet time critical investigative or enforcement needs. In particular with respect to the SEC, we will seek the means to encourage enforcement attorneys to make a 10 year commitment rather than a 3 year commitment to the agency. We will consider making it easier for investors to bring civil actions to enforce their rights and the public’s rights under the securities laws including increasing the speed of such civil actions in court. I will ask the SEC to analyze the fairness of the mandatory securities industry controlled arbitration into which many investors are forced and to make such changes in these procedures as are appropriate.

Tenth, at the opening of trading tomorrow an additional fee of 2 cents per share and $20 per bond will be assessed on all equity and bond trades on any U.S. stock exchange or bond market including NASDAQ, and a fee of $2 per option contract and $20 per commodities, future, or option on future contract other than those contracts applying to grown, manufactured, mined, or extracted physical goods (e.g., corn, wheat, and metals but not currency) where at least one of the parties actually trades in the underlying physical commodity. At current trading volumes, this may generate about $30B per year.

As I conclude, I thank you for the time and attention you have devoted to considering my remarks and our situation. I ask you to remember that we are in unprecedented and uncharted waters. There will be mistakes, twists and turns, ups and downs as we make our way to what I will do my best to make a better future for all Americans. This is a global problem.

I also ask that you keep two things in mind.

First, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Second, I, all members of my Administration, and those elected officials you elect and trust to represent you, work for you. Not the other way around.

Over time, a concerned and informed citizenry involved enough to urge their elected officials to keep these financial and economic safeguards in place, or be replaced, is one of our nation's best protections against a repetition of the current difficult economic and financial situation which we inherited.

I also seek the blessings of the Good Lord on all of us, on our country, and on all people of all beliefs and nationalities around the world. We are all in this together. I pray that we shall overcome.

Thank you and good night.