Henry Paulson: Weakness in housing will slow growth

Treasury chief is looking for a financial instrument to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was Tuesday's guest at a Monitor Breakfast in Washington. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the outlook for the US economy:

"The weakness in the housing sector is going to provide a penalty in growth.... It is very much our view that the economy is strong enough to keep growing."

On the outlook for the credit markets:

"I think we need to expect this period of turbulence to go on for a while."

On his focus in the housing credit situation:

"Our focus has been on how do we come up with a product for homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes.... We are talking with a number of organizations about this."

On reports saying President Bush complained when wooing Paulson for Treasury that "he should be begging me."

"It is probably right. If I had known then what I know now, I probably would have been begging him.... This job is much more interesting, challenging, and engaging than I had anticipated, and I am very pleased I made the decision to do this."

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