I’m going to confront this economic crisis: Obama

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : US president-elect has vowed to ease credit crisis, help American families and restore growth and prosperity as the country faces the “greatest economic challenge of our lifetime”.

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“We are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime and we are going to have to act swiftly to solve it,” Obama said at his first news conference since his election Friday in Chicago.

Before the press conference, Obama and Vice-president elect Joe Biden met with a 17-member council of economic advisers. Biden and the entire team of advisers stood behind him at the press conference.

Among the panellists were former Treasury Secretaries Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, billionaire businessman Warren Buffett and other leaders in business and politics.

Pointing to Friday’s release of unemployment figures showing 240,000 jobs lost in October and bad news from auto industry as the reason that his administration will have to move quickly on the economic crisis.

However, Obama pointed out “the United States has only one government and one president at a time. And until January 20th of next year, that government is the current administration headed by President George W. Bush.”

“I’ve spoken to President Bush. I appreciate his commitment to ensuring that his economic policy team keeps us fully informed as developments unfold. And I’m also thankful for his invitation to the White House,” he said.

“Immediately after I become president, I’m going to confront this economic crisis head on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity,” Obama said.