WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that he does not expect any more major financial institutions to fail during the current credit crisis.
Paulson also said he has no plans to ask Congress to make the second half of the $700-billion financial rescue fund available before the Bush administration leaves office on Jan. 20.
In an interview on CNBC, Paulson said he believes the actions taken by financial authorities in the United States and other countries will allow all important institutions to remain viable.
The administration has committed to use almost all of the first $350-billion in the financial rescue package approved by Congress on Oct. 3. There had been speculation that the Bush administration would ask for approval to begin using the second $350-billion in the bailout bill before leaving office.
But Paulson said Tuesday that he believed the government had a "lot of firepower" at its disposal currently, including the rescue program and multibillion-dollar loan programs being used by the Federal Reserve and other banking authorities. For that reason, he said, he did not see a need to request authorization from Congress to tap the second half of the rescue package.