Special Report: Global Financial Crisis
Special Report: Barack Obama: The 44th U.S. President
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack
Obama Friday named a team of leading economists to help him on the stricken
economy as he continued to push the Congress to quickly approve his massive
The new Economic Recovery Advisory Board, to be
headed by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, will offer
independent advice in regular briefings to the president, vice president and
their economic team.
U.S. President Barack Obama signs an
executive order to establish the Economic Recovery Advisory Board in the
East Room of the White House in Washington Feb. 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang
will include former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William
Donaldson, TIAA-CREF President-CEO Roger Ferguson and Harvard University
professor Martin Feldstein.
"I created this board to enlist voices to come from
beyond the Washington echo chamber, to ensure that no stone is unturned as we
work to put people back to work and get our economy moving," said Obama.
U.S. President Barack Obama (1st R)
speaks before signing an executive order to establish the Economic
Recovery Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House in Washington
Feb. 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
"I'm not interested in groupthink, which is why the
Board reflects a broad cross-section of experience, expertise, and ideology," he
said. "We've recruited Republican and Democrats; veterans of government and the
private sector; advocates for business and labor."
He also joked that "these days everybody thinks
they're an economist."
"This new institution should send a signal of how
seriously I take the responsibility of building an economic recovery that is
broad and enduring," said the president, adding that these are "extraordinary
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks
as Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman and former Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker looks on in the East Room of the White House in
Washington Feb. 6, 2009. President Obama signed an executive order Friday
to establish the Economic Recovery Advisory Board. (Xinhua/Zhang
Obama signed the executive order officially creating the board, he addressed the
jobs numbers and brought home the individual pains behind those almost
incomprehensibly large numbers.
"Somewhere in America, a small business has shut its
doors; a family has said goodbye to their home; a young parent has lost their
livelihood, and doesn't know what's going to take its place," Obama said.
The Labor Department reported earlier Friday that the
unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, the highest level since 1992,
as employers slashed 598,000 jobs.
January's drop, far worse than the 524,000 jobs that
economists expected, was followed revised declines of 577,000 jobs in December.
The U.S. economy has lost a staggering 3.6 million jobs since December 2007,
when the recession began. And about one-half of this decline occurred in the
past 3 months.
Obama urged the Congress to quickly approve his
massive stimulus plan, saying the current crisis could "turn into a catastrophe"
if the Congress does not act swiftly.
"We'll continue to get devastating job reports like
today's -- month after month, year after year," he warned.
"It's very important to understand that, although we
had a terrible year with respect to jobs last year, the problem is accelerating,
not decelerating. It's getting worse, not getting better," said the
Obama imposes $500,000 cap on
executive pay in bailouts
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration on
Wednesday imposed a pay cap of 500,000 U.S. dollars for top executives at
companies that receive the government bailout money to weather the current
The new rule came out amid rising public fury about
huge pay packages for executives at financial companies being propped up by
federal tax dollars. Full story
19 U.S. governors support economic
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger joined 18 other governors on Tuesday in voicing support for the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"We are writing to express our support for the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which passed last week in the
House and is under consideration currently in the Senate," the governors said in
a letter to President Barak Obama. Full story
Obama pushes stimulus plan forth as
Senate debate continues
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama
worked hard to push his massive stimulus plan forward on Tuesday as the Senate
continued the debate on the over 800 billion U.S. dollar spending bill.
One day after expressing optimism that action on the
massive plan will be finalized soon, Obama Tuesday accepted interviews with all
five major U.S. television news outlets -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News, a
move to seek public support. Full story
Obama says stimulus plan should not
send protectionist message
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama
said Tuesday that the United States cannot send a protectionist message to the
rest of the world.
He cautioned Congress that any protectionist
provisions that could trigger a trade war should not be included in the final
version of the economic stimulus plan. Full story
Obama nominates Republican senator as
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack
Obama on Tuesday nominated Republican Senator Judd Gregg as commerce secretary
in his cabinet.
If confirmed, Gregg, a senator from New Hampshire in
his third term, will become the third Republican Obama enrolled in his cabinet,
following Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood. Full story
U.S. House passes Obama's economic
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The
Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved
President Barack Obama's 819-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan, which melds
new spending and tax cuts to jump-start the economy.
The House measure combines roughly 275 billion
dollars in temporary tax cuts for both individuals and businesses along with
about 544 billion dollars for job-creating investment projects, health industry
improvements, expanded aid for the poor and unemployed, and improving
education. Full story