President Bush was already scheduled to appear before reporters at 11:10 a.m. along with Ghanaian President John Kufuor — Mr. Kufuor was treated to a state arrival ceremony this morning and will be feted with a state dinner tonight.
But as the stock market teeters on the edge of a precipice, Mr. Bush will make a statement on the economy at the beginning of his appearance with Mr. Kufuor, in which he will urge calm.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will also appear at the White House briefing today at 1:30 p.m.
During the arrival ceremony for Mr. Kufuor and his wife, Theresa Mensah, the Ghanaian president paid tribute to Mr. Bush as a man who has endured a presidency “full of events and challenges, some very mind-boggling and hair-raising.”
Mr. Kufuor may have been closer to describing current conditions than he knew. Moments after Mr. Kufuor spoke Wall Street was due to open, and Mr. Bush’s thoughts were no doubt focused on how bad the slide would be.
As of 10 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Index had already dropped 330 points.