We've heard President Bush say it, seemingly more times than even Google can count: Stop worrying. The American economy is strong. We are going through difficult times, perhaps, but the economy is strong. Ditto Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman.
Suddenly, the president had a new message: Start worrying. Congress' failure to approve the plan could put the entire U.S. economy -- and perhaps that of the whole world -- at risk. "Either the Bush administration was completely oblivious to the impending financial crisis, or were simply lying to the public."