What's On Obama's Economic To-Do List?

As we noted on Tuesday, Obama will enter office in the midst of economic turmoil—unless everything miraculously gets fixed by January. (We know what we’re asking Santa for…) Exactly how much turmoil are we talking about? Read on…

NY Times: Few presidents have entered office with an economy in such turmoil. Reflecting worries that the worst may not be over, the stock market continues to languish, with a 5 per cent decline on Wednesday, leaving it 35 per cent below its peak last fall.

The reasons are myriad: the financial system, though back from the brink, remains deeply troubled. Housing may no longer be in free fall, but plummeting values and rising defaults have impoverished many homeowners and burdened states with widening budget deficits. The once-mighty auto industry is on the verge of implosion.

Consumers who piled up credit card debt are pulling back, a major concern because their spending helped power economic growth in recent years. And with unemployment widely expected to increase to 8 per cent or higher, from 6.1 per cent, consumers are likely to tighten their belts even more.

Moreover, with upward of $1 trillion already pledged by the federal government to bail out the banking and housing industries, financing a growing deficit to address the problems could be difficult — and saddle the Treasury Department with high levels of debt for years to come.

Man, we get nervous just reading about it. So, what exactly does Obama have to do? Or, rather, what does the NY Times say he has to do?

  • Pass an economic stimulus package
  • Address the mortgage crisis
  • Regulate Wall Street
  • Help GM, Ford and Chrysler save themselves
  • Reform the health care industry (that will have to wait, though.)
  • Respond to the tech business’s call for change
  • Reform energy policies (that will also have to wait)
  • Take a tougher stance on international trade


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