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Stock Market Slides Despite President's Reassurances

Aired July 15, 2002 - 12:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Continuing to watch the numbers. Still, the Dow just tanking more than 300 points. The Nasdaq also down, but it's the Dow that's just blowing us away today. And the numbers continuing to drop even as President Bush was talking up the U.S. economy today in Alabama.

We're going to head over there now, to the University of Alabama, Birmingham where Suzanne Malveaux is standing by. She was there to listen to the president and see what he had to say as these numbers just continue to fall.

Suzanne, what's the reaction from there?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, this administration has a huge job ahead when you look at those numbers, more than 300 points down. Mr. Bush here at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, leading this round table discussion, saying -- he's emphasizing, "You've got to have confidence in these markets, that despite the decline that we're seeing, it is still fundamentally sound."

He's saying -- and I'm quoting here -- that " Americans need to get over the hangover from the economic binge." That meaning that the stock market surge, of course, could not last forever. He pointed to a number of economic indicators, positive ones. He talked about the moderate interest rates now, low inflation, productivity increase as well as the first quarter growth rate of six percent for 2002. The president also credited his $1.3 trillion 10-year tax cut as really a way of boosting this economy, getting back to where it's stronger again.

And the president, equally as important, talking about the need for corporate responsibility and accountability. This was a message that he delivered on Wall Street last week that really fell flat. This is something the administration is trying to emphasize, that investors have confidence in corporate America, that the stock market and the economic situation will get better.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I support the creation of a strong independent board that will provide effective oversight of the accounting profession. In other words, I'm willing to work with Congress to make sure that we've got the necessary law in place that will hold people accountable without stifling the entrepreneurial spirit of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And the president is still being dogged by questions about his own business practice, as he was director of Harken Energy Group more than a dozen years ago. The SEC investigated him for insider trading in dealing with a particular stock sale. The SEC has said that they found no wrongdoing, but still Democrats calling for a full disclosure of that case.

Today, Ari Fleischer, White House spokesperson, saying it has already been disclosed, all of the pertinent information. They're not going to be addressing any more at this time. They really want to focus on the domestic agenda and they want to focus on this kind of presidential cheer leading to get folks again confident in these markets to get these numbers turned around.

PHILLIPS: Suzanne Malveaux, thank you.

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