In a statement released Monday morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he welcomes the rescue package bill agreed to by U.S. lawmakers and that it should help stabilize the financial system.

"This legislation should help to restore the flow of credit to households and businesses that is essential for economic growth and job creation, while at the same time affording strong and necessary protections for taxpayers," he said. "I look forward to swift passage of the legislation."

Bernanke also said he supports the timely actions taken by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which he said "demonstrate our government's unwavering commitment to financial and economic stability."

Earlier on Monday, the FDIC announced Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia Corporation.

"In consultation with the President, the Secretary of the Treasury on the recommendation of the Federal Reserve and FDIC, determined that open bank assistance was necessary to avoid serious adverse effects on economic conditions and financial stability," an FDIC release stated.

By Stephen Huebl and edited by Sarah Sussman
©CEP News Ltd. 2008