Wikinvest Wire

Barack's first one hundred days

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This report by Jeanne Sahadi at CNN/Money does a pretty good job of summarizing what lies ahead for President Obama, that is, once everyone comes down from the inaugural celebration high sometime on Wednesday or Thursday:

  • Get recovery package passed and implemented
  • Implement foreclosure prevention program
  • Improve bank bailout efforts
  • Turn in a budget request
  • Decide automakers' fate
  • Meet with world leaders to rethink regulation
Naturally, the devil is in the details and, given the miserable results of the recovery packages, foreclosure prevention programs, and bailout efforts already attempted, it will certainly be an uphill battle all the way.

But, clearly, he has some momentum on his side at the moment.

The image of a cantankerous Dick Cheney in a wheel chair and the shaky inauguration oath by the new guy, some 20-years his junior, made clear in visual terms that the outgoing and incoming administrations are quite different indeed.

Whether the level of success achieved in reviving the economy is any different, well, that remains to be seen.

The CNN report went on to note the sales job that lies ahead for President Obama and lends a little more weight to the argument that change might just be possible in the period ahead:
Roosevelt, in his first 100 days, "changed the psychology of the country to make people think, 'We can deal with this,' " said Cary Covington, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa.

Getting the public on board with his initiatives will be one of Obama's chief tasks as well.

"If he can sell this message of 'Yes, we can,' then he might restore confidence again," Covington said. "A lot will depend on how he packages what we're experiencing."

Obama's first act as president was to do just that. "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time," Obama said Tuesday after taking the oath of office. "But know this, America -- they will be met."
So far, so good.

It will be instructive to watch what the two major consumer confidence surveys do over the next few months. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index and the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index have both recently bounced off of historically low levels and their paths in the months ahead are probably dependent, to some degree at least, on how our new leader fares.


Chuck Ponzi said...

Obama has something that most Americans do not: faith in other Americans.

We have been cheated too many times by our own people to think otherwise, and perhaps I'm too pessimistic about human nature, I don't think anything in the next 100 days, let alone 100 years is going to change the unabashed self-promotion that America has turned into. I'm jaded. So are most of us.


Anonymous said...

"Implement foreclosure prevention program"

In other words, keep huffing and puffing until the housing bubble reinflates!

Anonymous said...

It's not about faith in other Americans. Let's not forget, if folks never took out mortgages they couldn't repay, it is irrelevant how many times these bad loans were repackaged, leveraged and sold. I'd like to see faith in personal responsibility. Continuing this nonsense as if it were a RIGHT (to keep you from foreclosure)is the real problem here. I can't afford a $350,000 house if I make $50,000 per year no matter what fun games we play to try and make it work. Unfortunately, Obama is not the personal responsibility kind-a guy!

norcal steve said...

Giving a loan to someone who can't afford it is a bad idea, no doubt. But isn't the real problem all the shadow banking behind the scenes with the CDS and MBS?
I mean if it was just the bad loans couldn't that be cleaned up relatively cheaply? Is it true that it's only 2% of the mortgages in America?
It's all the crazy "insurance" that was taken out in case the loans went bad. Right? I think it's exactly relevant how many times bad loans were repackaged, leveraged and sold. It still boggles my mind they could create such a financial tidal wave using basically side bets.

Please school me if I've got it wrong.

Pool Shark said...

Obama's call for 'responsibility' is sufficiently ambiguous as to mean entirely different things to different people:

To the 'ants' among us (those who work, produce, pay taxes and act responsibly) it means that the 'grasshoppers' (i.e., welfare recipients, irresponsible home buyers, greedy mortgage brokers/banksters) will have to stop relying on government handouts and largess for their support and begin providing for themselves.

To the 'grasshoppers' among us it means the 'ants' will just have to buck-up and pay higher taxes in order to support more unfortunate 'grasshoppers.'

The problem is; with the bottom half of taxpayers now contributing only about 3% of federal tax revenues, we have now arrived at the point where there are more 'grasshoppers' than 'ants.'

The demands on government by the 'grasshoppers' (whose ranks have recently been swelled by the banksters/automakers, et al,) now far exceed the ability of the 'ants' to provide.

This can only end in tears.

The ulitmate tragedy of Obama's administration is that he takes over the helm of the 'ship of state' long after it hit the iceberg; it has been sinking for decades (since 1913), and now the band is playing 'nearer my god to thee' as the banksters steal all the lifeboats.

As a believer in the Austrian School, I am convinced that the ship is going down on Obama's watch, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.

Truly sad.

Anonymous said...

I have a dream. A dream of a world where CEO's, Boardmembers and all upper executives from all TARP recipiant companies get what they deserve.
Fired withouit severence, clawbacks on all money, stock options, and any other perks they recieved for the inept handeling or out right robbery by deceptionof the companies they were supposed to make prosper.

Lest's not forget about the Bookies of AIG who without the cooperation of the banks and credit rating firms sucked the morrow out of our financial system,401k's, ira's ect.

And when the bottom falls out make sure all the aboved mention criminals go first so that when the world starts falling on them they might finally know where they a put so many other Americans.

DOn't know if it makes sents but my rants rarely do.

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