NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer confidence and new-home construction plummeted, in further signs of deepening world financial crisis ahead of a meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and European leaders.
Bush said government interventions to stop the crisis needed time to take effect, while even calls by famed investor Warren Buffett that it was time to buy U.S. stocks went unheeded by Wall Street.
Bush said he would continue "close consultations" with Europe at a meeting on Saturday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission Pres ident Jose Manuel Barroso.
"Our European partners are taking bold steps. They show the world that we're determined to overcome this challenge together. And they have the full support of the United States," Bush said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
But he did not specifically mention calls by European leaders this week to reform the financial system that the world has been operating under since 1944 and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the U.S. focus was on the immediate crisis.
Writing in the Washington Post on Friday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said post-World War II financial institutions were out of date. "They have to be rebuilt for a wholly new era in which there is global, not national, competition and open, not closed, economies," he wrote.