Will Obama Calm the Markets?by Tim Manni
On Monday, Mr. Obama plans to introduce his economic team, starting with his Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner. News that Mr. Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, would get the job helped send the stock market up by nearly 500 points on Friday after days of sharp losses.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers is to be the director of the National Economic Council in the White House, the president’s principal economic adviser and policy coordinator, according to an Obama aide.
The economic team will also include Peter R. Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, who will be the next White House budget director.
Mr. Obama had been coming under fire for “sitting on the sidelines” during the economic crisis; some newspapers have been urging the new president to offer some kind of leadership — and to offer the country some glimmer of his plans.
On Saturday, Mr. Obama finally did: he used the Democrats’ weekly radio address to also unveil a “far more ambitious” agenda than previously revealed, including a a two-year stimulus plan geared toward job creation as part of a new stimulus package. Obama is also considering shelving a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, thus avoiding a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans.
At the same time, his advisors have also been trying to temper Americans’ expectations of how much the government can do. To quote the summary of this video, “some voters expect him to turn around the economy, wind down the war in Iraq and, perhaps, cure cancer — all by the Fourth of July. They know they must manage and lower those expectations.”