WASHINGTON — President Bush and the world's financial leaders staged repeated displays of unity Saturday to combat an unfolding credit crisis, hoping to calm investors whose panic has spread despite bold and accelerating government action.
While there were no concrete details of new moves made on Saturday, Bush pledged anew that his administration was doing everything possible to halt the biggest market disruptions since the Great Depression, and the finance ministers spoke in unusually somber terms about the need for action.
Bush, who had started the day shortly after daybreak with a Rose Garden appearance with finance ministers from the world's richest countries, made an unexpected late-day visit to the headquarters of the 185-nation International Monetary Fund.
With Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, he participated in an evening discussion with the Group of 20, which includes rich countries and major developing nations such as China, Brazil and India.
In response, the G-20 countries issued a joint statement in which the finance officials pledged to work together "to overcome the financial turmoil and to deepen cooperation to improve the regulation, supervision and the overall functioning of the world's financial markets."
In his Rose Garden appearance, Bush made a plea for nations to work together to address the crisis, avoiding the go-it-alone protectionist trade strategies that worsened conditions during the Great Depression.
"In an interconnected world, no nation will gain by driving down the fortunes of another. We are in this together. We will come through it together," Bush said. "There have been moments of crisis in the past when powerful nations turned their energies against each other or sought to wall themselves off from the world. This time is different."
Bush did not mention any specific action that prompted his call. But Ireland recently moved to guarantee all bank deposits, triggering similar actions in Germany and other countries concerned that nervous depositors would move their bank accounts to Ireland.
For Bush, it was the 22nd day in the past 27 he has spoken about the financial crisis, since evidence first arose that the year-old subprime mortgage mess was evolving into a broader and more calamitous meltdown.