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NPR business news starts with the president responding to the mortgage crisis.

We're told that President Bush will announce steps today to help families hit by the subprime mortgage problem. He says he will ask the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee loans for delinquent borrowers. The president will also announce that lenders and insurers will be asked to develop more favorable loan products for more than two million borrowers expected to default in the coming years - more than two million.

These are the first visible signs that the Bush administration is moving to stop the fallout from the subprime crisis. Democrats have criticized what they call a lack of action. The president's announcement is expected to affect the volatile stock market, but an administration official told reporters yesterday that's not the goal, and in any case the market is moving so dramatically it's hard to say what the effect will be.

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