US President George Bush has made a live telecast to the American public to back a proposed US$700 billion bailout of the country's beleaguered financial system.
The plan is currently before the US Congress, where it has become a political football reaching as far as the presidential campaign.
Mr Bush warned Americans that their entire economy was in danger.
"The market is not functioning properly. There is a widespread loss of confidence ... America could slip into a widespread financial panic," he said.
The president called on Congress to act quickly to approve the bailout.
Mr Bush said he had invited presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to join Congressional leaders from both parties to the White House to discuss the bailout plan tomorrow.
Earlier today Republican candidate John McCain announced he was suspending his presidential campaign to concentrate on the financial crisis - a move not matched by his rival, Barack Obama.