[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/24/art.bushecon0924.ap.jpg caption="Pres. Bush made the case for his administration's financial bailout plan directly to the nation on live television Wednesday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush addressed the economic crisis, saying, "We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive actions."
Bush pointed out that the collapse of several major lenders was rooted in subprime mortgage that thrived over the past decade.
He urged Congress to approve his administration's $700 billion bailout proposal to restore confidence in the market.
"I'm a strong believer in free enterprise so my natural instinct is to oppose gov intervention," he said. But, "these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly, there has been a widespread loss of confidence.
"Without immediate action by Congress, America can slip into a major panic."