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Archive for Saturday, April 11, 2009

Obama says economy showing ‘glimmers of hope’

April 11, 2009

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— President Barack Obama declared Friday that the slumping economy has begun to show “glimmers of hope,” but cautioned that it remains severely stressed and will require lots more work to turn it around.

Once criticized for talking too pessimistically about the economy, Obama is highlighting the positive.

“We’re starting to see glimmers of hope across the economy,” the president said after a White House meeting with his economic team, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and top economic adviser Larry Summers. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also participated in the session.

Obama echoed Summers’ prediction a day earlier that the “sense of a ball falling off a table” would end in a few months.

The president highlighted signs of thawing in the credit markets, particularly for small businesses seeking loans, along with tax cuts he said workers will soon see in their paychecks and a jump in mortgage refinancings because of historically low interest rates.

Obama said those positive moves as well as infrastructure work and other spending underwritten by his $787 billion stimulus program all point to welcome signs of long-anticipated economic improvement.

“We’re starting to see progress,” Obama said. “And if we stick with it, if we don’t flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track.”

The president threw in a dose of sober reality, too.

“Now, we have always been very cautious about prognosticating and that’s not going to change just because it’s Easter,” Obama said. “The economy is still under severe stress.”

Unemployment hit a 25-year high of 8.5 percent in March, and many people are still losing their homes or jobs, or fear losing them.

“So we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Obama said. Without elaborating, he said the administration would take steps in the coming weeks to help further improve the business climate.

Gauging Wall Street’s response to Obama’s more upbeat take had to wait as the markets were closed for Good Friday.

Friday’s meeting was the first between Obama and his economic team since he returned from an overseas trip partly focused on the global economic crisis. He participated in a meeting last week in London of leaders from the 20 wealthiest and developing economies.

Also at Friday’s meeting were Christina Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers; Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro and Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan.

Recent economic statistics have hinted at signs of recovery from the recession that began in late 2007, including evidence that stock market investors, shoppers and homebuyers are less nervous than before. Wells Fargo & Co. issued a strong profit forecast this week, the government saw a drop in claims for unemployment benefits and several retailers predicted solid sales for April.

Once criticized for too much sour economy talk — Obama often told an anxious public that the situation would get much worse before it got better — he has begun to highlight the positive.

On Thursday, he urged eligible homeowners to refinance their mortgages using a special government program. He sat with a group of homeowners who had shaved hundreds of dollars from their monthly bills because of low interest rates.

“We are at a time where people can really take advantage of this,” Obama said.

His top economic adviser sounded a note of cautious optimism, as well.

“The sense of a ball falling off a table, which is what the economy has felt like since the middle of last fall, I think we can be reasonably confident that that is going to end within the next few months, and we will no longer have that sense of a free fall,” Summers said Thursday at the Economic Club of Washington.

However, he said it was too soon to forecast how strong the rebound would be and when it would take hold. He also refused to predict how high unemployment will rise before a sustainable recovery begins.

Comments

Marion Lynn 5 years ago

LiberalDude (Anonymous) says…

“Barack Hussein Obama is half-Kenyan”

Wrong Marion. Obama is an American and he is your President. Hahahah! It doesn't matter what country his dad was from, Obama was born in America. It sucks to be you, Marion! Marion is a stupid conservative!"

Marion writes:

Sorry, LiberalDude; we accept only the finest tuna and there are far too many fishy things about The Obamination!

Barck Hussein Obama may well be YOUR president but he is certainly not mine, having purchased the Oval Office with the backing of wealthy tax-and-spend so-called "liberals".

By the way, "LiberalDude"(A misnomer if there ever was one!), I am not a "conservative" within your definition.

If anything, I might best be termed a Libertarian; a category so far distant from your radical Marxism as to be nearly in another Galaxy.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

"Barack Hussein Obama is half-Kenyan"

Wrong Marion. Obama is an American and he is your President. Hahahah! It doesn't matter what country his dad was from, Obama was born in America. It sucks to be you, Marion! Marion is a stupid conservative!

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

"self aggrandized"

Hahaha, Godot uses stupid words and he doesn't even know wha they mean. What a conservative (idiot)!

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drugcompton 5 years ago

i'll tell you what Marion Sidney Lynn...get a job, get caught up on your taxes, pay back the folks you screwed when you went bankrupt, cut Svens puppet strings, and then maybe just maybe we will let you have a voice here.

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Godot 5 years ago

I am waiting for the time when Obama takes it upon himself to apologize to the world for the humanitarian attrocities committed by the successions of govenments of Kenya.

It is only right that Obama should apologize for the atrocities committed by the land of his fatherhood, being that he is the self aggrandized leader of the world.

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Marion Lynn 5 years ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says…

Oh, for the love of God, President Obama is an American. He has never been a Kenyan."

Marion writes:

The mother of Barack Hussein Obama was an American; a U.S. citizen.

The father of Barack Hussein Obama was a Kenyan.

Barack Hussein Obama is half-Kenyan.

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

Oh, for the love of God, President Obama is an American. He has never been a Kenyan. Do you know how silly that sounds. He is not ashamed of his father and he should not be. We all have the right to be proud of our parents and our heritage. As far I know there is nothing so terrible about the Kenyan people. It reads like prejudice even though it might not have been meant that way. Race is is a very sensitive subject. I shudder to think what people would be writing if Hilary Clinton had been elected as president. For the first time in a long time I am proud of my country and where it is headed. I am proud of how other countries react to our president.

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barrypenders 5 years ago

From a total catasrophy to a glimmer. The Kenyan can look across the United States and see a glimmer. That's quite an accomplishment.

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

ocean (Anonymous) says…

"Liberty One - yeah we are pretty sure that we had de-regulation under the Bush/Cheney regime,"

18,000 pages of new regulations added to the federal registrar, $15 billion in new spending on regulatory agencies, 91,000 regulatory agency employees added to the payroll. You keep on living in fairy-tale land.

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

Gee Liberaldude, you sure proved me wrong. Average income is a whole $1000 a year more in Pennsylvania than Kansas. Of course I was talking about wage workers, that's why I used the word "wages" instead of income. So I'm still waiting for your wonderful treatise on working class incomes.

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ocean 5 years ago

Liberty One - yeah right...wages are about the same... LOL

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ocean 5 years ago

Liberty One - yeah we are pretty sure that we had de-regulation under the Bush/Cheney regime, the first President with a known falsified election in Florida in 2000.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

SInce you can't find data on your own, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Househol...

As you can see, the top nine states by household income are all on the coast. Kansas meanwhile ranks 30th and the average household makes about $15,000 less than those top nine states along the coasts. Are you going to admit to your lie now?

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

I'm sorry I wasn't specific enough for Mr. know-it-all. Now where's your wikipedia info?

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

But you didn't write "entry level" or "unskilled worker". You wrote- “Wages out here on the coast are about the same"

You lied and now you are trying to back track.

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XD40 5 years ago

"The Obama administration has launched a societal Blitzkrieg against individual initiative, against intra-generational wealth, against the institutions of private property."

http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2009/04/11/obamas-societal-blitazkrieg-the-rise-of-piracy-as-a-metaphor-for-the-retribalization-of-the-world/

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

Liberaldude, no, that's not what I meant to write. But since you know so much, what's the average entry-level hourly wage of an unskilled worker in the mid-Atlantic states compared to Kansas?

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

Liberty_one - If that is what you mean then you shouldn't write- "Wages out here on the coast are about the same".

It sounds like you meant to write "minimum wages are about the same in Kansas as on the coasts" . And the response to this would be... no duh! Federal minimum wage is the same everywhere.

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Marion Lynn 5 years ago

And with Barack Hussein Obama at the helm, a "glimmer" of hope is all that most of us have!

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Tom Shewmon 5 years ago

"In just the first quarter of 2009, retail tenants at these centers have vacated 8.7 million square feet of commercial space, according to the latest report from New York-based real estate research firm Reis.

That number exceeds the 8.6 million square feet of retail space that was vacated in all of 2008."

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/10/news/economy/retail_malls/index.htm

More glimmers of hope.

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

Ocean you think we had deregulation under Bush. How is fairy-tale land?

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

Liberaldude, how much more do you think working class people make out here? Sure, professionals make more, that's why I moved out here, but if you are looking for entry-level work good luck finding a job that pays more than seven or eight an hour.

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ocean 5 years ago

thanks liberal dude ---

Liberty One is definitely not playing with a full deck.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

"Wages out here on the coast are about the same"

Hahaha... this could be the funniest comment ever written on the LJW site! Do you really think this Liberty_One? A simple visit to wikipedia or a thousand other websites that show wage comparisons will show you that you are very wrong!

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ocean 5 years ago

Liberty One

where else would an irresponsible state legislature have so many members clamoring to build coal plants?

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

Ocean, I have read that book and it's hilarious in how he tries to paint Kansas. Reading that you'd think the entire state was one giant trailer park. It's nothing more than playing to liberal stereotypes, and if you fell for it while living in the state of Kansas, what does that say about you?

Kansas has the second lowest cost-of-living in the country. Wages out here on the coast are about the same, but everything costs more. $800 for a one bedroom apartment half a mile from the ghetto? I don't think Kansas is the state that has something the matter with it.

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ocean 5 years ago

Allegedly from the London Times Obituary page:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, & I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

Thomas Frank has become one of my favorite authors. "What's the Matter with Kansas" is excellent. His newer book "The Wrecking Crew" is very good, too. It highlights the corruptive practices in the "conservative movement" that started in the 1980's and led us to George W. Bush.

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ocean 5 years ago

Godot is partly correct.

we are still not being told the truth about how vast the debt is in face of continuing trade deficits for oil & goods from China.

time for change.

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madmike 5 years ago

Liberal Dude must be married to Ocean. Both are liberal wierdos that live in the magical Larryville thought bubble!

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ocean 5 years ago

Liberty One is completely wrong.

mismangement of the Federal Reserve and deregulation has occured under Greenspan & Beranacke since 1987.

those policies and outsourcing of simply too many jobs to China and elsewhere along with inflated Wall Street values in the Republican deception to make people think that they are in that top 20% - were all lies.

read, "What's the Matter with Kansas" by Thomas Frank.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

I disagree ocean. Geithner is doing a great job. He is a big reason for why we are starting to see the economy improve.

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ocean 5 years ago

Bernake & Geithner both need to be shown the door immediately.

Both of them failed to adequately use the Federal Reserve Bank system under the previous administration.

They were complicit in not regulating and allowing low interest rates to invite speculation in real estate and other investments while overvaluing Wall Street.

NOW we need the truth.

How much of the bailout money is being passed through the big bank bailouts and given to hedge fund managers & derivatives?

truth anyone? apparently the big banks are going to give away bailout money to shareholders and allow certain shareholders to achieve 20 to 30% profits with bailout funds.

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LiberalDude 5 years ago

Haha, this is great!!! The economy is starting to improve thanks to the work of President Obama and congress. The stupid Kansas conservatives don't know what to do with themselves! They could never admit that they were wrong about Obama and that he has rescued our country from the worst financial situation since the Great Depression. It's no wonder that the conservatives can't see it... after all it was there idiot leader (Bush) who got us into this mess.

Thank you President Obama and Congress (at least those who voted for the Stimulus). You're doing a great job!

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Liberty_One 5 years ago

There's no glimmer of hope. Obama's policies, like Herbert Hoover's and FDR's, will turn this into a depression.

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XD40 5 years ago

As far as the deficits go, Bush is pretty harmless when you look at what 'The One' has planned:

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

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Godot 5 years ago

Over 10 per cent of FHA loans originated in the first quarter of 2008 are in default. The taxpayers are on the hook for those defaulted mortgages.

That figure of 8.5 per cent unemployment is not reality. It is actually over 16 percent when all those who are no longer eligible for unemployment, or looking for work, or working part time, are counted.

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Tom Shewmon 5 years ago

The irony is Obama is supposedly so popular, yet he could give a flying fig what people think, as he is just gleeful to be in a position to implement every radical agenda that's ever been aswirl in his head. Pelosi is from the same mold. For that matter, Axelrod, Geithner, Reid, Emanuel, Clinton-----all of 'em.

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Chris Ogle 5 years ago

godot- I think you got-it ..... Sure hope our grandkids are hard workers..

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Godot 5 years ago

The Federal budget ran a $192 billion deficit in March. Cash outlay was 3 times income. The obligations/promises made by the Bush and Obama administrations in the last 9 months are equal to the entire GDP of the US for one year. That glimmer at the end of the tunnel that Obama sees is the light of the freight train of debt that is barrelling down on the US economy.

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Tom Shewmon 5 years ago

glim⋅mer: a dim perception; inkling.

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Chris Ogle 5 years ago

I know the feeling, spacystaci8

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Staci Dark Simpson 5 years ago

Have not seen a glimmer yet. Frankly, starting to get worried

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Chris Ogle 5 years ago

Unemployment hit a 25-year high of 8.5 percent in March, and many people are still losing their homes or jobs, or fear losing them

Nice "glimmer"

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