obama administration

Five Takeaways from the Debt Debate

As the debt-ceiling discussion winds down in Washington and everyone laments over the meaning and mutual downside of compromise, the economy is still in trouble. But we learned some lessons along the way. Here are some key points from the debacle.

Unemployed and Seeking Shelter from the Storm

The housing crisis continues unabated, and millions of unemployed Americans remain at risk of ending up homeless. But additional government help is arriving from the Obama administration, and nonprofit agencies are making a difference in the efforts of some families to get help from their lenders.

The Financial Landscape: Geithner Gossip Groundless

Citing unnamed sources, news outlets reported Thursday evening that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner might leave the Obama administration soon. In response to the rumors, Geithner insisted, "I live for this work.... I'm going to be doing it for the foreseeable future."

The Financial Landscape: Gas Is Falling; Euro is Failing

Even before the International Energy Agency and the White House announced they were releasing billions of gallons or oil from fuel reserves, gas prices were falling. In the past two weeks, a gallon is down more than 11 cents. Also falling -- hopes for the euro, and the outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds.

White House to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Describing the president as "deeply concerned" about the impact on global economic growth of oil supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa, the Obama administration announced it would release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next 30 days.

Obama's Mortgage Reforms: Higher Standards -- and Costs

The administration's proposed revamp of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is actually an offering of multiple policy options, essentially passing the political hot potato to the Republicans. Problem is, any fix is sure to make mortgages costlier, with potential harm to the housing market.

Obama Administration Launches Entrepreneur Group

The Obama administration is launching a "private sector alliance" to help entrepreneurs. Startup America Partnership will bring together entrepreneurs, start-up financiers, CEOs and others to help companies start or grow, the group said in a statement.

Three U.S. Stocks to Buy After China's White House Visit

President Obama brought executives from 13 major U.S. firms to the White House Wednesday to meet with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. The corporate leaders will surely be angling for better access to China's markets, which could boost their stocks. But only a few are actually good investments now.

Obama Orders Review of Federal Business Regulations

President Barack Obama said he will order an overhaul of U.S. business regulations in a bid to cut unnecessary red tape and improve consumer protection. In an opinion piece in today%u2019s Wall Street Journal, Obama said the overhaul will address issues such as the need for new safety rules for infant formula and a faster procedure for approving new medical devices.

Obama Considering Naming William Daley to Top White House Job

President Barack Obama is considering naming former Commerce Secretary William Daley to a top White House post, perhaps chief of staff, The Associated Press reported. Daley, 62, is a JPMorgan Chase (JPM) executive and brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. His appointment could help the Obama administration deflect charges that it is hostile to the business community.

Obama Meeting With 20 Top CEOs

President Barack Obama will meet with 20 top CEOs today as he seeks to improve relations with the business community. The invitation list largely shuns Wall Street in favor of high-flying tech companies. Eric Schmidt of Google (GOOG) will be there, as will Paul Otellini of Intel (INTC), according to CNN.

Senate Unveils Total Cost of Tax Deal

The Senate presented the final price tag of $858 billion for President Obama%u2019s tax deal Republican leaders and began debating the package Thursday night. The Senate aims to vote on the bill Monday, a week after it was first announced, The Wall Street Journal reported. It is expected to clear the Senate, with backers including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who had previously expressed reservations.

Obama Launches a Vigorous Defense of His Tax Agreement

The president bristled at Democratic criticism of his compromise with the GOP: "This isn't an abstract debate," the president said. "This is real money for real people that will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here."

Senate Republicans Block Tax Cut Extensions

The Senate failed to pass a bill that would have extended tax cuts for all but the richest Americans on Saturday, falling nine votes short of the two-thirds majority needed.

Obama Temporarily Bans Some New Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration will temporarily ban the sale of new offshore oil drilling leases in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coast, Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday, a policy change made in response to lessons learned from BP's horrific Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Fraud Files: FCPA Enforcement Will Continue to Be Costly

For decades, U.S. companies doing business overseas have had to avoid falling afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the bribing of foreign officials. But in the past few years, such corporate misbehavior is receiving more attention and increased enforcement, which is making executives nervous.

Roger Altman Leading Candidate to Replace Summers

Roger Altman, former deputy treasury secretary and founder of Evercore Partners Inc., is a top candidate to replace Lawrence Summers as director of President Obama%u2019s National Economic Council, Bloomberg News said. Altman, 64, met with Obama Tuesday to discuss the job, which involves coordinating policy-making and economic advice for the president, Bloomberg News reported without naming its sources.

Main Street Doesn't Buy Wall Street's 'Recovery'

If stocks are rising, many Wall Street gurus take it as evidence that the economy is improving. Yet even though the S&P 500 has soared 80% from its March 2009 lows, 70% of Americans don't believe the recession is over. Is Main Street's grasp on reality firmer than Wall Street's? Let's look at the data:

2010 U.S. Budget Deficit Comes in Below Expectations

Investors received another sign Friday that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal: The 2010 U.S. budget deficit came in at a smaller-than-predicted $1.29 trillion. Though it was still the second-highest deficit on record, the numbers reflect growth in tax revenues, and thus in the economy.