Morning Brief: Obama calls for ‘jolt’ to economy

Top Story U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announced the top members of his economic team Monday, and markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia surged as the U.S. government announced a potentially massive rescue of Citigroup, the ailing financial services company. For Treasury Secretary, Obama chose Timothy Geithner, who as president of the New York ...

591421_081125_Obama2.jpg
591421_081125_Obama2.jpg

Top Story

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announced the top members of his economic team Monday, and markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia surged as the U.S. government announced a potentially massive rescue of Citigroup, the ailing financial services company.

For Treasury Secretary, Obama chose Timothy Geithner, who as president of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve has been intimately involved in managing the financial crisis over the past few months.

Top Story

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announced the top members of his economic team Monday, and markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia surged as the U.S. government announced a potentially massive rescue of Citigroup, the ailing financial services company.

For Treasury Secretary, Obama chose Timothy Geithner, who as president of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve has been intimately involved in managing the financial crisis over the past few months.

Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard University and a Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton who is often described as “brilliant,” will serve as head of the president’s National Economic Council. “I will rely heavily on his advice as we navigate the uncharted waters of this economic crisis,” Obama said in his press conference.

Most analysts have welcomed the nominations, but not everyone is happy. “Both men,” the New York Times editorial board argues, “have played central roles in policies that helped provoke today’s financial crisis.” Economist Dean Baker says Geithner is a “safe pick,” but needs to learn from past mistakes.

Regardless of any alleged past errors, the two men now face stiff economic headwinds. The OECD’s latests forecast posits four straight quarters of negative growth. Some countries have even taken to bartering.

Obama said his new team would start working “today” on a stimulus package to be passed in January. “We have to make sure,” he said, “that the stimulus is significant enough that it really gives a jolt to the economy.”

Americas

Mexican journalists covering the drug war are being killed.

The largest Muslim charity in the United States was convicted of funneling money to Hamas.

Asia

Thai protesters fired on government supporters, but failed to take down the government itself.

A U.N. report documenting systematic detainee abuse in China has provoked Beijing’s wrath.

The World Bank expects China to grow at a slower 7.5 percent pace.

North Korea has released another batch of photographs of Kim Jong Il.

Middle East and Africa

Osama bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Hamdan, is heading back to Yemen.

Kuwait’s government has resigned in a dispute over the visit of a Shiite cleric.

Time‘s Bobby Ghosh reports from a tribal meeting on how sheikhs in Iraq’s Anbar province are gearing up for the provincial elections.

Europe

The British government announced a $30 billion stimulus plan.

An exploding grenade killed three people in St. Petersburg, Russia.

An ex-NSA employee alleges that the U.S. intelligence community spied on Tony Blair when he was British prime minister.

Today’s Agenda

The U.S. Department of Commerce releases figures for third-quarter GDP. Another release to watch today: The FDIC reports on third-quarter bank and thrift earnings in a 10 a.m. Webcast.

The Czech Republic’s constitutional court rules on the Lisbon Treaty.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

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