November 5th, 2008
05:20 AM GMT
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LONDON, England - When Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president on January 20, 2009 he will be taking office on the usual wave of enthusiasm for a new political beginning, but against a grim economic background.

Barack Obama must act quickly to turn around the U.S. economy.
Barack Obama must act quickly to turn around the U.S. economy.

There's a much-told story about a couple becoming utterly lost in the back lanes of some rural area and chancing upon an ancient local inhabitant.

Watch Bill Hubard of MIG Investments discuss what President-elect Obama must do to clean up the economic mess

Asked for the directions to their destination, the old man leans on his stick, furrows a wrinkled brow and remarks sorrowfully: "If I wanted to get there, I wouldn't start from here."

Obama won't have any choice, any more than the couple in the story did.

Shortly after the crowds attending the inaugural parade have gone to their homes (assuming they haven't lost them to foreclosure by hard-hit mortgage lenders), ill tidings will reach the Oval Office: the national income numbers for the fourth quarter of 2008.

They will confirm to everyone but a few academic pedants and hair-splitters that the United States will be well into recession by then.

By then, too, the usual remarkable capacity of the U.S. economy to create jobs will be fully exhausted. The unemployment rate will be rising inexorably.

Add all that to a housing market still on life-support, and the feel-bad factor will be overwhelming.

The U.S. consumer will be in parlous state, and retailers will be licking their wounds after a disastrous 2008 holiday season.

So what will the new president need to do to dig his nation out this sticky economic mess?

In fairness, a start has been made by President George W. Bush's administration after a hesitant start.

Fingers crossed, the worst of the financial turmoil is already behind us: the banks have been underpinned by hundreds of billions of dollars of government money and U.S. stocks appear to be escaping out of the cycle of volatility that has marked the past few weeks.

Economic forecasters believe the back end of 2009 will see global recovery - without adding any riders stipulating that what the new U.S. president does will alter the outlook.

But it plainly will.

The holder of the most powerful office on the planet can do more than anyone to influence global economic fortunes, especially if he has the support of the U.S. Congress, which holds the key to the awesome power of the U.S. federal budget (albeit painfully overstretched by the bank bailout plan).

So what should Obama be doing? What will be his most powerful tools? How will he stimulate the economy? How will he best use the "presidential bully-pulpit" to instil confidence into a stricken nation?

Should he adjust the duties of the U.S. Federal Reserve to include an obligation to prevent the formation of financial bubbles? Or would he be well advised to avoid extending the boundaries of economic regulation, while perhaps making sure that the existing framework is used more effectively?

How will he lift the housing market off the floor? And should he reach out to those many Americans suffering the distress and humiliation of being turfed out of their own homes because they can't make the mortgage payments?

Please give us your answers and ideas.



soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Michael St.Clair

    The first thing to do is dissolve the Federal Reserve.

    November 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  2. Ana T

    Take all leftover campaign funds and give it to the city and people of New Orleans so that they can finally rebuild their lives the way it should have been done immediately after Katrina hit. Stop giving aid to all foreign countries, take care of the USA first, make sure that the American people have homes, jobs, a decent education that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and let's not forget health care, affordable health care for everyone. I'm not saying socialism, I'm saying help those American people who have worked hard all of their lives. I think our entire government needs to be re-structured, clearly it's not working for our country anymore, our forefathers are probably turning over in their graves at the mess that is presented as our government. Just think about the money that has been spent for the 2008 presidential campaign. I'm pretty sure the American people could have used all of that money for something else. Think about it.

    November 2, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  3. tom

    To fix the crisis requires a fullscale review of the fundamental assumptions of economics as presently taught.

    First off — surprise — there’s a place where the Marxists and real conservatives meet and shake hands: Adam Smith and his discussion of value. Smith asked why water, which is absolutely necessary, cost very little, whereas a diamond, which in his time was absolutely useless, cost a lot: “The word VALUE, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expressed the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called ‘value in use’; the other, ‘value in exchange’. The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange and, on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use. Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarce anything; scarce anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any value in use; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.” (”The Wealth of Nations,” 1776, pp. 131-2). So, now, what is the real value of that house on your street with the for-sale sign, that nobody is buying? Mr. Banker says he financed it for $500,000 and now it stands empty at $100,000; therefore, he is “out” $400,000 and he wants taxpayers to give it to him. To which I say: garbage. We go back to: what is the house really “worth” in terms of use or utilility value? That is the question that must be posed to society; the question of price belongs to enterprise. That use value did not disappear during the recent “meltdown”: if you look out the window, you’ll see the house in question is still there, it didn’t disappear. Isn’t that incredible? Mr. Banker wants you to think that market value = utility value; that means,he knows the price of everything, the value of nothing. That’s why, incidentally, he got into trouble in the first place. So, Adam Smith was right: utility value isn’t the PRICE– the quick and easy answer we’re programmed to give and to look for.

    All these concerns are EXTREMELY practical. Somehow, the question of use value versus market value MUST come up when the “bail-out” goes into full swing. It is the perfect occasion. Otherwise, folks, not only are you being had, you’ll be had again and again.

    November 2, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  4. Miguel Sanchez

    Given that the lubrication of the financial markets is confidence, the new leadership must take on the short term pain required to reestablish our investment system as one to have confidence in. Bill Clinton did that via balanced budget, Obama will need to do this with renewed emphasis on transparency, fiscal responsibility, and regulation of the financial markets.

    Similar to highways and railways providing infrastructure for private sectors to build economies, Rules and enforcement provide the financial infrastructure, the private sector will provide the rest.

    What is happening right now is akin to what happens to a casino once all affected know the games are dirty, no one wants to play. And you can't print (money) your way out of this mess, it needs to be painful to be real, running away from the pain makes it worse when we the problem is too big.

    November 2, 2008 at 7:01 pm |
  5. Bigfoot

    End the bloody war !!!

    November 2, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  6. Ed

    I don't see that much the U.S. can do other than print money and devalue its currency. It has a significant net external debt, owed largely to people in the far east, largely China. It can renege on that debt, and pay it back in devalued currency. So, generating a large inflation rate inside the U.S. is an option that will not only perhaps stimulate the economy and at the same time make the U.S. more debt free in relation to foreigners.

    Also, redistributing the money away from the rich is always a good economic move. The trick down effect is nonsense economics. One of the reasons for that is that rich people use lots of their money not to generate new wealth, but to speculate on existing assets, such as land or existing stocks. It's like giving them money to play poker. Poor people use the money inside the country to buy necessities. And, if the government isn't corrupt, giving more money to government to create economic investments also avoids giving money to rich people to "play poker." It's about time the U.S. caught on to good economic ideas, and parts with its nonsensical, disproven rightwing ideology, which is esentially what has landed it in this pickle.

    Then Americans can get to work on making structural changes that will improve things long-term, including catching up with other developed countries in the math-science abilities of its population (annual PISA tests show that American youngsters are near the bottom in those skills), putting in a fully operated (not just run) healtcare system to create a healthcare system that costs the fraction other countries pay per capita with even better health outcomes, and, in general, going the ways of social democratic countries. American rightwing ideology is more appropriate to the 18th and 19th centuries than to the 21st century, as the economic evidence clearly shows. When is America going to catch on and move out of the 19th century in its thinking?

    November 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  7. Henk Yserman

    My opnion is to establish peaceful co-existance with the rest of the world by means of
    Proper DEMOCRACY

    The concept demo-cracy was conceived by the greek as
    Demos-Kratein meaning:The people-to rule
    With other words: Sovereign people, and executive governments.

    I lived 40 years in Switzerland and understood, that:
    Democracy should be formulated in written Constitutions for the
    communities, districts, parliament and co-alition cabinet of ministers.
    Every individual can't contribute directly to the implications of their opinions.
    Proportional Representation is the modus vivendi at all government levels.
    Regions of essentially kindred people ought to be delimitated, to guarantee
    Adequate Autonomy of Sovereign Ethnic minorities.
    Hegemonic infiltrations should be avoided by all means.

    The people need to be educated to weigh their opinions with an Intellectual consciousness, submit them by means of Initiatives,and decide when parliaments ask for their opinions by means of Referenda.

    Each governmental level should have a Chair-Person to execute the
    pending agenda of referenda to-, and initiatives from- the sovereign people.

    The USA still have an hegemonic government, without a Co-alition Cabinet of minsters; with a Leader, often elected with a marginal majority.
    Proper democratic citizens need speakers, not Leaders !
    When an hegemonic government forces its so called democracy upon other countries, then the obvious Re-Action is Terrorism !
    Wars should be avoided for ethical reasons, they are also very costly and run the agressor into financial disaster!

    In 1974 the population of the Jura region in the canton Bern voted on a
    referendum to form an independent canton Jura with its own constitution.
    Could you consider the population of any ethnic region to become
    independent with their own constitution?

    November 2, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Henk Yserman

    Establish proper demo-cracy !

    November 2, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  9. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Flippin' 'ell, Mister Hoitch,

    Yer dun 'arf make these queschuns 'ard! Oi'm gunner 'after fink habou' vis one!

    Particularly in light of the scenario I just finished posting at the end of the Question of Last Week... gods forbid! That scenario would make your question mostly moot.

    In the interests of sanity, I'm not going to dwell on that.

    Instead, I shall begin, by trying to parse your phenomenally densely layered, seismologically complex, collection of interrelated questions. Without doing that, it is impossible to address any of what you asked, in a meaningful way.

    You do realise that a 'question' such as you have posed, above, deserves ten years' research, and a doctoral dissertation, in at least three volumes...

    Anyone who thinks s/he understood your 'question' on the fourth or fifth read-through, clearly does not know where the limits of her/his comprehension lie.

    *sigh*

    Didn't your Dons teach you to 'simplify the question'?

    My master's thesis proposal was returned to me three times, with notes like: 'I think you could expand Section XXVIII, subsection 9 into something that would make a good doctoral dissertation. Cut everything else, and then find out how to cut that down to 200 pages or fewer!', 'Uma, you'll be old, and I'll be dead, if you ever finish this, as presented. Dispense with 9/10ths of it, and maybe you have a topic', and finally, 'Excellent! I like your third sentence. It shows originality and the potential for an outstanding thesis! Now, write a proposal, based on that sentence. Don't get carried away. Remember, I stop reading masters' theses at 200 pages!'

    Copying/pasting your 'question', so I can apply the meat-cleaver my thesis-advisor gave me.

    Replies will be piecemeal, lengthy, and as evil as the 'question'.

    You can let me know, if they rate more than a coffee! ;-)

    An 'ere I fort it were gonna be multiple-choice! 'E's 'orrible, innee?

    November 2, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  10. Frei Herbert

    Shareholders must be given more rights. Only bonus systems should be allowed that reward long-term profits. Transparency and risk management in the financial sector must be improved.

    November 2, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  11. Andreas Svensson

    Scrap the income tax act and then every american(okey not every american pays the income tax but most middleclassed american does) will get a boost of money to buy. Look over the thought of getting rid of the so call "federal" reserve bank and bring every single man and woman(not many most likely) who ever had a say in the sub prime loans and then got a bonus in to court or for the fuck of it just say they're terrorist, they messed up the political and economic state of the country then any terrorist have done yet sure you got a war against afghanistan and iraq but still if you just wanted to get rid of the so called terrorist then why didnt the army just kill them all? Cause in the long run America has proven that they dont give a crap and neither do the world for that matter(again in the long run..) Or better yet why didnt they find some new guy like saddam to just overthrow the leadership in iraq. jibbrish. anyway theres plenty to do but the question is if mccain(doesnt want to do anything) or obama(will probably be the first president to get killed in the 21th century if elected) can get the job done. Hell best of luck wouldnt want the job. I would have like to see an attempt that brings the world closer of inacting the venus project though it's probably an impossible utopia.

    November 2, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  12. Giselle Thayer

    Would you turn your back on John McCain knowing that he sacrificed his own life for our country?

    For two thousand and seven days (5 ½ years) John McCain said “Country First” even if this meant receiving torture beyond belief by the Vietnamese captors. For two thousand and seven days, McCain did NOT turn his back on the nurse, the bus driver, the school teacher, the immigrant, the white, the black, the hispanic, the entrepreneur, the rich, the poor, and senior citizens. On the contrary, McCain said “I will sacrifice my life for every single American Citizen in the United States of America” even if this meant being in solitary confinement, getting the most atrocious beatings, getting smashed with a rifle on the shoulder, getting jabbed in the ankle, getting jabbed in the groin, getting knocked down, getting kicked in the head, getting the ribs cracked, having a high fever and losing consciousness for long periods of time, lying on vomit, blood and waste from the inhumane beatings.

    This is our ONLY opportunity as a nation to do the right thing, and say “In McCain we trust” Please show your gratitude and loyalty to our country and to everyone in the United States by voting for McCain and Palin…

    “I can only hope that every man that was ever in the military will read this book and appreciate the contributions of men like John McCain III. We all owe a debt of gratitude to men like him, true Americans who sacrificed everything for their country.” (Wayland Mayo)

    November 2, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  13. Andrew Taylor

    I am cutting back on expenses and retraining myself for a new career. I feel that the next president will need to do the same on a larger scale. Obama promises a line-by line review of the budget in an effort to fix or discard programs that don't work while improving the efficiency of those that do. That's a start, however, each one of us will need to do our part as well. We can't depend on the government w/o remembering that "We the People" are the government. In my case, change begins at home.

    November 2, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  14. Mr.Joe Thomissen

    Most importent need is now to recover our Economy.
    With other words starting where it all began "The House Market"!!
    Lower the mortage payments so that the people have a home and life again.

    Our environment and our fight against Climate Change.
    If you introduce a new product then sell it to effordable cost.
    A greener environment looks healtyr and more livable.

    Irak.
    Do we stay or should we come home.
    I say get those men and women back home,it will safe certainly more Lifes and Money.
    Unfortunally the last one is whats war is about.
    America needs to recover,Unite the people new President !!

    November 2, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  15. Zac

    He needs to liquidate the financial system using governmental power. The free market can't fix it, simply, because the free market no longer exists. By that, I mean giving short term loans with a decent interest rate to small businesses for example. Basically most of the stuff Obama has proposed. McCain has a reasonable idea too, but I prefer Obama's way of action.

    November 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  16. Sid Fattedad

    The new president only has the first two years to get a fundamental message across to Americans – improve productivity, lower consumption and reduce waste. He also needs to avoid deferring the pain that is inevitable in the deleveraging that has yet to be practised by the highly indebted consumer by allowing their credit card debts to be written off. America is an innovative nation that needs business leaders who can see beyond the next quarter's earnings and its impact on his/her bonus and they need to be encouraged by a president who can inspire their patriotism. The most important thing the new president can do is to assure tha countyr and the world that America is here for the long term and will have a foreign policy that reflects that it realizes it has vast influence in world affairs without having to resort to war at every turn.

    November 3, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  17. Peter

    Abolish the fed (they let it happen and must be punished).
    Regulate the banks and make "banking" less glamorous(profitable).
    Institute a value for money system where speculation is impossible.
    Make lobbyists illegal. No more PAC funds EVER.
    Institute a concensus approach to government thru the internet.
    Reps are not smarter than the people, just more ambitious.

    November 3, 2008 at 2:07 am |
  18. Tim Hawkins

    1/ Recognise that it is no use trying to buck global market trends which will cause a reduction in American relative over-consumption

    2/ Operate to minimise the adjustment loss while managing consumer expectations. Of course there should be intervention to reduce foreclosures substantially. And stimulation of particular markets such as energy saving technology (including exporting it) and import saving.

    3/ Fiscal balance is not essential – most people agree that taxes should be reduced now.

    4/ Market forces rather than a "club" approach should be firmly forced into financial services including all banking. "Transparency" means invisible, by the way, not clear.

    5/ Don't forget the many millions much worse off in Africa and Asia, partly due to the results of American global mis-management.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:09 am |
  19. Andre Budianto

    I am just thinking that the new President will continue the previous program of the prosperity of the nation. Keep the best for the sustainable development. Don't forget to continue to build the new World Trade Centre from the foundation, people, and the building just in time. Urgent program should be solve is about the painful and suffering of the citizenship in America, and in the world, at large.
    President should near to God in order to make everything's alright. The sensitivity of what's going on the earth, especially in USA and how to solve it is very important too. Thanks to the Lord that USA is an ideal country and our dreaming for the wealthy and prosperity.
    God bless America

    November 3, 2008 at 3:32 am |
  20. Frederick Mackaden

    The new president should ensure that banks stay afloat; there is enough credit in the system and he needs to give the stock markets confidence enough to bounce back.

    As regards the general economic scenario initial tax breaks to companies who would need to demonstrate that the additional income would be ploughed back and the extra funds create more jobs. The tax breaks would need to be extended to individuals who would then spend that money to create a ripple effect.

    Regulatory activities would need to be strengthened so that such melt-downs are prevented .

    Above all the new President should usher in an era of peace in the middle-east and beyond as opposed to his predecessor.

    November 3, 2008 at 4:08 am |
  21. Bernie Utchenik

    This might seem juvenile in its appearance but I really think the first thing the new president needs to do is to keep communicating to the populace his actions to deal with the many obstacles facing not only Americans but the rest of the world, which is waiting for America to take its usual position at the lead.
    All the areas are in dire need of attention, the economy, security, education, healthcare are the most notable. As he takes his steps to choose the best team to build, he should be talking to the American people to calm fears and explain choices and decisions. That process shouldn't stop just because the campaign is over. The public needs to have something to hang on to, something to know.
    Giving the public the information they need to have them feel that they are on the same page as the president and his inner circle will go a long way to bringing people together and providing the transparency that has been missing for the last eight years.

    November 3, 2008 at 6:10 am |
  22. James

    The solution to the problem of economic recession is to seek God,s face and inquired of HIM; believe me financial and economic theory is not the way out. We need God fearing leaders that are transparent, honest and have the heart for the people to bring about a change.........let wait after the election to know the winner.

    November 3, 2008 at 8:30 am |
  23. Oluwasegun Adediran

    The U.S public should rather focus more on the candidate who has the right qualities,knowledge and know how to move the Nation out of the Economic mess rather than been cajoled by motivational speeches. Both candidates seem to have excellent Public speaking skills which is quite different from delivering the required service when the chips are down.

    November 3, 2008 at 9:05 am |
  24. Rod

    Appoint Joe Wilson to the head of the Dept. of Justice. Valerie Plame needs to be given a major role in government as well. These are people that put country first and never backed away from it. The president needs to find people with their integrity at all levels. People that will speak truth to power and truth to the people. The times don't call for quibbling or advancing ideologies. Practicality and necessity must be the rule of the next administration. The din of war must stop. The president must be able to synthesize and effectively convey the intangibles (Hope and Fairness) with the tangibles (Deficit, Jobs and Livable Wages) to the American people, but to get back to answering the question, the first thing he needs to do is appoint Joe Wilson to the head of the Department of Justice.

    November 3, 2008 at 10:02 am |
  25. Michael McBride

    President Obama must make a bold and risky choice to change the way money is created. Like Garfield, Lincoln & JFK all tried to do. The (not at all) FEDERAL (with very little if any) RESERVE (privately owned) BANK must be wiped out of existance. Why does the US government allow this bank to print (or type on a computer screen) money that does not exist. So called "elastic currency" Then the tax payers pay interest on it as well. The savings from not having to pay all that interest alone could finance universal public health care, higher education & fix a few roads as well. I pray for our new presidents safety and for the courageous choices he will make. History in the making....

    November 3, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  26. Stephen

    In theory, it's simple really, restore competitive advantage, increase trade and eliminate debt. In practice, you have a large aging, obese sickly workforce addicted to debt with an inflated sense of worth.

    Therefore all the new president has to do is eliminate retirement, cancel any promises of national heathcare, restore banking liquidity, prevent foreign conflicts, eliminate trade barriers, encourage immigration of highly skilled young foreigners who would come, likely from India, Pakistan, China, Iran etc, and encourage investment in small business (say making more than $250K/year)...

    November 3, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  27. David

    Go to sleep!

    November 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  28. john doran

    charles,
    If the " hard-hit mortgage lenders" have no other option left but to foreclose then where did the $700 billion given to them go? They are not lending any of it and not taking other options to foreclosure so it must be in their vaults gathering dust or more likely earning them interest!

    November 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  29. Cabrit0

    Michael St.Clair wrote:
    "The first thing to do is dissolve the Federal Reserve."

    That`s true.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  30. Gerald Pde

    I think the new president needs another idea. Another boom to kick start the economy, create jobs, trade and wealth. Obama's green economy seems to be the most sensitive thing for our time and I truly hope he is be able to kic start this economy and using a green initiative to open a huge scope for innovation, investments, jobs, wealth and to help our environment.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  31. r oliver

    Not really sure what a new president should do, but if Bush would have had another term I’m sure he could have come up with a daring plan to spin off a few states and use those funds to refinance Wall St. After all are places like Maine, Minnesota, or even Hawaii core to the needs of the American Dream?

    Oh, I think I’ve been brain washed over the past eight years.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  32. Kurlin Wilson

    Hi Miguel Sanchez....that comment was a little premature...the election is not over yet......ha..ha...
    If you are right then the economy will be in recession big time about mid next year when the taxes rise to support all the give aways beginning next year. You notice that the Democrates all approved the bail out package right away....the Republicans questioned and discussed and they did not rush into approving it. The Democrates approve anything that gives money away....ok...too broad a statement...but BO signed up. He did not question anything when it came too voting....He questioned a lot when giving speaches.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  33. Denny Sangiovanni

    1.- End the war in Irak and focus on Afganistan.

    2.- CEO involved in financial scams, squems, hoax , must go to Jail and return bonuses and assets. Get rid off criminals in the whole Wall Street investment system.

    3.- Begin investing in alternative sources of energy on day one. Change the whole transportation system to natural gas. Select team of the best in their field, to develop the first fuel free car in the next two years. Setup infrastructure to create 4 nuclear plant in the next 2 years.

    4.- Repair and rebuild the whole USA transportation system. Bridges, etc..

    November 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  34. DAN CLINE

    I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH BIAS IN REPORTING POLITICAL NEWS AS I HAVE WITNESSED DURING THIS CAMPAIGN. CNN AND THE OTHER MAJOR NETWORKS HAVE EXHIBITED EXTREME BIAS FOR THE LEFT. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO REPORTING NEWS WITHOUT THE SLANT WHICH HAS BEEN DONE BY CNN AND THE OTHERS, EXCEPTING FOX NETWORK. ETHICS HAVE TAKEN A HOLIDAY. HOW DEPRESSING TO LISTEN TO ALL THIS BIAS. I DON'T TUNE IT IN ANY MORE, SINCE THE NEWS MEDIA APPARENTLY HAS AN AGENDA TO ELECT LIBERAL POLITICS. LET VOTERS DECIDE, AFTER THEY HAVE HEARD THE FACTS, NOT SKEWED REPORTS FROM YOUR REPORTERS.

    November 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  35. tegis

    We must listen to Ron Paul. Cut government spending, lower and abolish taxes, pull back our troops and stop maintaining our Empire and start to protect our borders and our own country, not the borders of Syria.

    November 3, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  36. Mike Dunn

    The financial (world) credit based system is WRONG, here a system is protected by the dark powers that be to maintain this ridiculous credit based system, a system which bases and enslaves all of us in a debt based system on money which dos not exist – never will exist and yet all our worlds financial systems are based on it.
    Abolish the crooked Federal Reserve – or at least make the fedral reserve open it books and fall under full control of congress – presently it has full-unchallenged control of credit – hence the US dollar paper money is written with reckless abandon. The US dollar used to be based on the gold standard until it was removed from this standard decades ago.
    Abolish the Federal Reserve.
    Bailout the homeowners that have lost there homes – not the crooks who put them there (and continue to put them there).
    Back the US dollar back under the gold standard and not just worthless paper as it is now.
    Pass laws so that credit lent must be backed by at least 40 % deposit /assets (this will limit and slow down the credit corrupt laden system)

    News networks need to have some guts and challenge the leaders in power and not as you are now just proxies for the government. Promote questions and not 20 second attention spans.
    Wake up America you like the rest of the world are being lied to and enslaved by worthless financial systems in place- which keep a few in control. reality is if you loose you home now – no one will come and bail you out

    November 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  37. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    I apologise, Mr Hodson. I can't leave this post unaddressed. I know it's off-topic. In an ideal world, both the original post, and this response, would be DELETED. This is a tragic example of the worst of 'America' - it makes me cringe. It also makes me very irate.

    @ Giselle Thayer

    If John McCain had 'sacrificed his life for [your] country' he wouldn't be ALIVE to run for President, today, would he?

    He was a volunteer navy-pilot, flying over enemy territory, during an illegal war. His 'plane was shot down. To the people who shot his 'plane down, HE was the enemy. He WAS there to kill them, after all! So, they took him prisoner.

    John McCain never saw any combat. He never saved any lives. He never did ANYTHING that the other POWs did not do, too. He did not suffer any torture that was not universal.

    He's not a 'hero'. Most 'heroes' are not still walking, let alone running for President. Once upon a time, this man, John McCain, was a POW, for five hideous years. I don't dismiss the horror of those years. I DO dispute their relevance to his race for the Presidency.

    Contrary to your quotation, John McCain DIDN'T "sacrifice everything for his country'.

    He's still ALIVE. He's apparently sane enough to be President of the United States.

    I knew some very nice people who did not come back from Viet Nam, alive. I've had friends, and PATIENTS, who didn't come back SANE, from Viet Nam, and all the military conflicts in which the US has been involved - or started - since Viet Nam.

    I KNOW that's nothing, compared to what the French, and then the USA, did to the Viet Namese!

    It's a week before Remembrance Day. In Canada, the UK, and most of the Commonwealth, like Australia and New Zealand, who fought alongside Britain, the 11th of November is a bit like your Memorial Day. Only, for Britain, and Europe, Russia, India, and Japan, it is not a triumphalist holiday. It is a time of seriousness and reflection.

    No war has been fought ON US SOIL since the US Civil War. American civilans have not died from schrapnel wounds, years after the war was 'over', because of the anti-personnel mines, STILL in the ground. The cities of the USA do not - unlike those of Europe and Japan, and the UK - still have broken, bombed out buildings standing silent sentinel, to remind us of what was, and what could be again.

    When the USA sends kids to war, they go HOME, after their tours of duty, alive, or dead, damaged, or relatively all right (barring those MIA - for whose families I feel). Even POWs, if they live, eventually go HOME.

    What do you think happens to the kids who go off to war, and when their tours of duty are over, there homes are GONE? Bombed flat, or everyone dead?

    Consider Hiroshima, and Nagasaki... civilian cities nuked, populations vapourised.

    Iraqis don't HAVE 'tours of duty'. They were invaded. Twice. The war is RIGHT THERE.

    Your post is not only COMPLETELY off-topic, and out of of place in this discussion - as you did not answer Mr Hodson's question; but also AMAZINGLY insensitive (though no one is amazed, because that's what people have come to EXPECT, from Americans - yes, you are a stereotype).

    This is an INTERNATIONAL forum. I know it is easy to forget that there are real people, with real feelings, and real histories, on the other end of the computer.

    So, I'm here to REMIND you! The thirty-somethings of the EU/UK are the grandkids of the Second War. I'm pushing fifty, and my father lived through both World Wars - though not all his siblings did. My mother was a bit younger, and history from her part of the world would be too complicated to explain to someone like you. Rent the movie 'Gandhi'.

    Next week, when the Armed Forces, living, and dead, are remembered for their service and sacrifice (apologies to the German, Italian, and Japanese readers - I don't know your customs, but I do respect your grief, and the courage of those who had no choice, who fought with honour for their comrades...) to the Allies, in the two World Wars, Korea, Indo-China, and now the kids who are killing and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan (we Brits have Faulklands Islands Vets, as well), nobody is going to CARE about the USA.

    The USA did not 'win' the Second World War for the Allies. The Soviet Union did. Yes, I know they don't teach that in US schools - though they did in MINE!

    The USA (John McCain, in particular) is still labouring under the delusion that people can be MADE 'free', at rifle-point. How much sense does THAT make?

    'You will vote, freely, or we will shoot you, you damned insurgents!'

    How 'heroic'...

    Your post is off-topic, insensitive, and ill-timed. I don't know how many people reading this, have lost family member in wars - as military, or civilian casualties, as torture-victims, or raped to death. I don't know, so I don't TELL anyone that John McCain, or ANYONE is a 'hero'. I might - in an appropriate context - say someone was MY hero.

    'Gratitude' to John McCain is no reason to elect him President! There are a LOT of more deserving Vets than McCain, and only one Presidency!

    It IS a good reason to start trying to get the US government to CLOSE the internment-camp at Guantanamo Bay, and commit to NEVER using torture, on enemies of the USA.

    Remember that there are PEOPLE reading what you write, and they MAY have been tortured by Americans! I don't think you MEANT to give offence. You just didn't KNOW.

    Christian version: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

    Jewish version: Do not do unto others, as you would not have them do unto you.

    Muslim version: ? Can someone tell me? I am curious, now.

    November 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  38. ALECO -----NOKOMIS,FL

    THE FIRST THING THE AMERICAN VOTER MUST DO-–VOTE IN THE RIGHT MAN.
    THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BLAMES THE U.S. FOR THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS-AND HE IS ABSOLUTLY RIGHT.
    YET ALMOST HALF OF THE AMERICAN VOTERS MUST BE HAPPY WITH THE MEN WE HAVE RUNNING OUR COUNTRY AND THEY INTEND TO VOTE FOR THE SAME PARTY THAT CAUSED ALL THE WORLD PROBLEMS.
    ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE IN WASHINGTON-VOTE FOR OBAMA.

    IF McCAIN WERE ELECTED WE WILL HAVE MUCH MUCH MORE OF THE SAME.

    NO THANKS--VOTE OBAMA 08

    November 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  39. Gary

    Listen to Peter Schiff!

    November 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  40. Larry Richards

    The people of the U.S. have one of the lowest savings rates in the world. The new president should do everything he can to encourage people to put money into savings accounts. If every man, woman and child were to put $100 into savings that would be an additional 30 billion dollars into the economy that the banks could then lend. Every added zero on that amount of savings is an additional 300 million dollars.

    November 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  41. R. Mayer

    Mr. President:
    You have the power to change lots of things for lots of people.
    Please : CHANGE the CONSTITUTION to improve democracy
    2 change the whole financial underground
    3) have only the best professional people in public service
    with proven mental health
    4) pray for your life every day!

    November 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  42. Brian Fitzpatrick

    STOP DIGGING! What a funny question CNN, you can’t dig yourself out of a hole it will just get deeper. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is to stop digging and climb out. Suburbia is this hole America finds itself in, oil is the shovel and Americans have spent the last 50 years investing or should I say digging this ridiculous suburban dream. Cheap oil the ‘shovel’ has allowed us to live far away from our workplace and supplies of food in oversized houses taking up too much land while destroying small business in favour of Wal-Mart and McDonalds where we’ve been to over consuming with money we didn’t have ‘credit’. Oil prices hit $149 because the supply peaked; it has only come down because investment and consumption are down. If we keep digging the hole will collapse and bury us all.

    The next president must first stop us from digging and not only reach in and help us out but help us fill that hole up.

    *Start building up not out by preventing suburban sprawl and giving incentives to build within the city. There are many good examples of this in the beautiful cities of Europe like Rome and Barcelona. The American building sector has used the media to marginalise city living for years. City living is wonderful when its’ planed and invested in properly. If you live in the city you won’t need a car.

    *Secondly we need to invest in mass and public transit systems to ship goods and people long distances via rail. Again this will cut down on the need for oil and suburban sprawl.

    *Thirdly and just as importantly we need to replace our existing fossil fuel power plants with Nuclear power plants like dare I say it...France.

    *Finally we need to stop consuming; consumption is making the guys at the top filthy rich while enslaving us in debt. Let’s start saving and investing in our future and not just our present.

    Why do our leaders keep saying that we have the world’s strongest economy? That is a fallacy, we owe the rest of the world over 10 trillion dollars so far. The fact is our country is broke; we don’t have the world’s strongest economy we have the world’s strongest debt. Our disposable homes, cars, and household appliances are made overseas or with natural recourses from overseas. What happens when they stop giving us credit?

    If we follow these 4 steps we’ll create jobs, free up land, produce energy, reduce oil use, reduce global warming and hopefully get ourselves out of debt.

    So everyone toss up your shovel, climb out of that hole and fill it in.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Fitzpatrick

    November 3, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  43. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Righty-ho, Mr Hodson,

    I said I would have to take your question to pieces, to answer it meaningfully.

    FAIR WARNING This is exceedingly long, not because I am wordy (I know I'm wordy. I have wasted none here), but because I am endeavouring to demonstrate something, which can only be demonstrated by being exhaustive.

    Well, I thought I would start with the 'easiest' bits, which happened to be in the middle of what you said - so here I go, beginning in the middle:

    You said:
    Economic forecasters believe the back end of 2009 will see global recovery — without adding any riders stipulating that what the new US President does will alter the outlook.

    But it plainly will.

    Of course it will! So will a virtually infinite number of other things, but that would put the whole field of 'economic forecasting' out of business.

    The economic forecasters you are citing, in my humble opinion, are wrong. For one thing, 'late in 2009' is considerably sooner a date for recovery, than that given by many other 'economic forecasters' who have no reason to be less credible than yours. My information, accumulated by my usual means (accretion; information sticks to my brain like fluff - I often do not know where I learnt things), is much less optimistic. (Yeah, yeah, how unusual!)

    For one thing, there is that National Debt and Budget Deficit. I'll get to them in the next chapter.

    More to the point, any actions - or lack of same - on the part of the new US President, are one variable your 'economic forecasters' failed to include in their calculations. There are myriad variables - of the obvious and likely sort - which they need to take into consideration, in addition to the US President.

    For example, no one knows yet, what effects the UK's, Euro Zone's, and Asian responses to the economic situation will have, in the long-term. Everyone has been functioning in reactive mode, after the bottom already shows signs of falling out. It will take time, effort, and cohesiveness, and very alert thinking, to get ahead of the problems. Thus far, there have been surges of effort, and struggling cohesiveness. The most alert thinking so far came from Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown. (!) This is particularly curious because of the dire conditions of the UK's own economy, which was just now described by gent named 'Bootle' as being in 'a 1930s-style Depression'. Such a shame our former Chancellor, and current Chancellor, could not have foreseen and got ahead of any of this country's financial woes.

    Alas, their model can be adapted to suit the financial systems of the 'old captilist' countries quite easily, but does not fit emerging markets very well at all.

    Those economies are manufacturing and export-based. In many ways, that is an advantage. Though they may lose wealth on paper, they will still have enough stuff, provided they are sensible about how they spend. I believe China can pull this off, and is already working on finding internal markets for their manufactured goods. India could easily backslide into a country of 5% millionaires, 95% subsistence-farmers or worse.

    Japan and South Korea are not 'emerging', as such. They are in trouble. They make high-ticket export goods, and for some reason (which I don't pretend to grasp) the Japanese Yen is stronger against all other world currencies than it has ever been, which is not a good thing, when you make expensive stuff. There has never been a shortage of ingenuity in Japan, and South Korea caught up (by cutting corners on labour-practices), so perhaps they will be able to think their way around the problems.

    There is still an 'in the meantime...' In the meantime, South Korea is bobbing above insolvency.

    The 'meantimes' are going to vary so much, from place to place, in severity, in duration, that there is no way they could be factored in, by any economic forecaster. That does not mean they will not be a drain on the Markets, because they definitely will be.

    It is an open question whether the USA would adopt a financial system with as much regulation, transparency, and oversight, as the Euro Zone are now recommending - which seems to me to be the necessary direction, now that Reagan-style, laisser-faire, free-market, unregulated capitalism has been proven to be a soggy and expensive failure.

    Should Barack Obama be elected, I believe he will be receptive to the Euro Zone plan. Most of the Democratic Congress will also support it. There will be dissent, from Republicans and conservative Democrats, but I believe the US Congress understands that the corporate, and especially the financial sectors must be reformed, if not outright re-written.

    If, after the infamous seven-billion $USD bailout, Congress does not rein in (note to CNN employees: that's 'rein in' - from controlling horses; not 'reign in' somehow related to monarchy. I shan't name names, but I've noticed this error... and I am The Spelling Beast from Hades) the excesses of the financial sector, there will be a full-scale taxpayer revolution, in the USA!

    If John McCain should, by means of some skulduggery, be 'elected' President, things will be... more complicated. He claims to want to 'reform' Wall Street, and to cut 'wasteful' spending in Washington. Historically, he has not supported 'interference' with the private-sector, and he wants to give corporations a tax break.

    I do not believe his campaign's labelling Obama a 'socialist' was accidental. I think that is precisely what John McCain believes! After Obama met with such favour in Europe, McCain was heard to disparage the 'dangerous, European ideas' which Obama picked up on his 'excellent adventure' (a very snarky reference to the Mike Myers film 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure').

    This does not lead me to believe that a McCain Administration would work well with the Euro Zone. Indeed, McCain strikes me as a xenophobe. The spontaneous stringing together of the words 'dangerous', 'European', and 'ideas', from a proven anti-intellectual, who has reasons to dislike/distrust 'communists/socialists' (I doubt he makes any distinction; most Americans his age wouldn't do) seems to support my theory.

    Even if McCain had not been tortured for five years, in Communist North Viet Nam, he was raised in a zeitgeist of hostility toward all things 'un-American'. McCain was born in 1936. The infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was originally formed in 1938, in opposition to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's post-Depression 'New Deal', which some Congressmen considered 'Communist'. (Those who do not remember history... and even those who do...)

    HUAC reached a fever-pitch immediately after the Second War, in the late 1940s, with Hollywood producers, writers, intellectuals, professors (most of them Jewish, all of them intelligent, many of them successful and/or influential) being 'blacklisted' as 'Communists'.

    John McCain was an impressionable teenager, a Navy-brat, and then a Cadet during this particular blot upon US History. I do not believe McCain is anti-Jewish (HUAC was), and I do not believe that he is racist in a personal way. I said 'xenophobic', and I stand by that position. Given his age and his experiences, I have to give McCain credit, for being as open-minded as he is!

    He is not open-minded enough to accept the 'socialistic', Euro Zone economic proposals. I don't imagine there would be any meeting of minds, between a McCain Administration and any effort to impose 'regulation' on the private-sector. He, and many Congressional Republicans, opposed depriving Bailout-winning execs, of their bonuses, outrageous salaries, and 'golden pararachutes'.

    Doubtless, Mr Hodson, your economic forecasters know most of this. Doubtless, they are betting, as are most folk, that Barack Obama will win this election by a landslide. It is still possible for John McCain to win. *yikes*

    There are numerous other variables, which the economic forecasters cannot realistically factor into their predictions, but which clearly have profound economic repercussions (some of them more important than the President of the USA – that's my next chapter), for the world at large.

    Natural and human-made disasters (tsunamis to terrorism), cannot be predicted with much accuracy in the long-term, except to say: they will happen, and they will have a negative impact ('impact' is not a verb, unless wisdom-teeth are involved! *scowl*) upon the economy, with ripples radiating outward around the world, from wherever the disaster occurs.

    Considering the effects of climate-change, natural-disasters have become both more frequent, and more severe, on a global level. It is <i.guaranteed that this trend will continue, unchanged. 'More and Worse to come'. This will necessarily deplete the coffers of those countries which still have 'coffers'. Pakistan had two earthquakes, yesterday, and they had already asked for a bailout from the IMF, so they don't default on their internantional debt.

    The widespread and worsening food-shortages (to say nothing of outright famines) occurring now, which we know will be more widespread next year, because of the natural disasters in 2008, are going to present enormous economic hurdles. India's largest rice-crop was destroyed by floods in Bihar. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and chunks of China lost all their crops. Haiti scarcely can raise a crop, at all. This year, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica took tremendous losses of crops, from hurricanes and floods.

    Human-made famines continue to worsen in Zimbabwe, Darfur, the Republic of Congo, many African Countries, and now in the teetering States of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq (once a farming country).

    The International Monetary Fund is already helping Iceland, Hungary, the Ukraine, and Pakistan, just to keep them from defaulting on their debts.

    The IMF cannot predict how many more countries will need handouts, nor how much money they will need. The IMF has a limited quantity of funds available... after which, no one knows what will happen.

    Whilst the ongoing military conflicts and their staggering costs must have been worked into the formulae, by your economic forecasters, they do not know where wars might break out, or where Major Economic Players might wind up involved in conflicts.

    The two most likely new military situations are the possible intervention of the UK (with or without EU help) in the situation in the Congo.

    Israel have a General Election, come February. If (may the gods forbid) Benjamin Netanyahu were to be re-elected, tensions in the Middle-East will get much worse. Netanyahu is much less inclined to... talk to Palestinians; he is much more inclined to shoot at them (his Party is very Conservative), than Tzipi Livni is. Such miniscule progress as may have been made, will be erased, and then some.

    The possibility of Israel nuking Iran, which could precipitate a... larger war, would at least treble! I can't discuss this without becoming unprintable. Suffice to say, recessions might be the least of our worries.

    And, it's always possible that a butterfly might flap its wings, in the Amazon...

    These economic prognosticators cannot possibly make realistic predictions, because every time something significant changes, it changes the world. In truth, mathematically, any time anything changes, it changes the world. If any of these actuarial sorts could do what they supposedly do, why did no one foresee the housing-bubble in the USA imploding, leading to Iceland and the Ukraine going bankrupt?

    Economic forecasts are only as good as the information upon which they are based is exhaustive. They STILL cannot factor in human emotions, which are, as we have proven, the foundation of the Markets. 'Exhaustive' approaches infinity, rather faster than one might think.

    *whew. end of chapter one*

    _________________________________________________

    This posting is dedicated to the memory of Mrs Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's grandmother, who death was announced shortly before 22:00 hrs, GMT, and to all nurturing parents and guardians, who inspire greatness in their children, grandchildren, foster-children, and so on.

    November 4, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  44. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    *aaaack*

    I proofread that again and again! Yet there are still typos!

    *find wall. bang head*

    November 4, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  45. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    @ James

    You may find this difficult to understand, but your exact words are how the Ayatollahs rule the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Your EXACT words, and your EXACT meaning.

    Not off-topic, because you are recommending this be how the next President should govern the United States. I think it is important to observe an example of what you recommend. There is no better example of 'government for/by/and at God's will' than the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Fortunately, in the USA, the separation of church and state is explicitly written into the Constitution!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:22 am |
  46. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    @ Bernie Utchenik

    That does not sound juvenile at all. It sounds like someone who would like to understand, and participate in his government.

    Don't sell yourself short, you have captured the essence of what the Founding Fathers intended!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  47. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    @ Tom

    *APPLAUSE*

    November 4, 2008 at 1:30 am |
  48. Manish,India

    As the most powerful person on this planet, the priority for US President should be to clear the financial mess . He must find out the reason for this financial meltdown, and take remedial measures to prevent it to happen in future . He must ask the financial wizards in Wall Street, or in Treasury or in Finance Department or elsewhere why they failed to read the situation ? As terrorism is the biggest threat to the mankind, he must put all his efforts to tackle this menace . US is the world's oldest democracy, the whole world looks towards US as the protector of democracy, he must adopt suitable measures to protect fldgling democracies in Africa and Latin America . Poor countries in Africa and Asia look towards US for development of their economies and also seek protection from goons and criminals , Darfur and Congo need immediate attention .

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 am |
  49. Sankha

    Get rid of the Federal Reserve's authority to print money.

    Giving a central bank authority to print money only devalues the dollar. Therefore every dollar in the system must be associated with something of value, otherwise inflation will occur and wipe out the middle class. This is really the core of the issue.

    November 4, 2008 at 8:45 am |
  50. Joel Rudinas

    the new President must try to restore the confidence in the financial system and also he must try to tightly regulate the US financial markets too in order a crisis like this doesnt happen again
    the new President must also try to balance the budget...cut the spending perhaps or not but some hard decisions must be made to balance the budget.

    November 4, 2008 at 8:53 am |
  51. Phil Sage

    To even consider an economic recovery for not only the United States, but most of the Western World, the next President needs to convert Americas massive spending power into positive spending, not negative spending. In other words, the massive $300b + military budget could be much better spent in making America (and indirectly all the other countries currently suffering from the financial crisis) more energy efficient.

    Federal intervention needs to be made into the way money is borrowed and loaned to provide stability. It needs to be implemented into the psyche of not only the American public but the whole world. The wealth of the West needs to be redistributed in a positive way, not through paranoia. I recently saw an article showing Obama making a statement on tightening Gun Laws, and the reaction from the American public was to buy more firearms. Why does this happen? Because of the paranoia spread by politicians and media for decades.

    This election is a beacon of hope for not only America but the whole world, and I sincerely hope that the next President of the United States realises this. Charity starts at home, and with the domino effect shown in the financial markets recently, this has never been more true.

    Good luck Mr. President.

    November 4, 2008 at 9:07 am |
  52. Matt

    Put simply, a New New Deal. Massive state investment in the environmental sector. Alternatives and green industries. It is time we dragged the world economy into the 21st century. We must address the issues surrounding sustainability in both energy and food sectors. If we cannot gain some level of stability then it will reduce the ability of the next President to act effectively. We must understand that public and private sector must begin to act together. America must also realise that government is not the devil, and that it must be involved to oversee the solutions to our problems. The new President must work towards strengthening the autonomy of international organisations. We must work towards a World Financial Authority, mandatory codes of conduct for corporations worldwide.

    Good luck Senators. Either of you are going to be faced with an unenviable task. The true wreckless idiocy of the Bush Administration has been the national debt. It has greatly hampered the ability of the new President to act decisively.

    November 4, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  53. Phil Sage, England, Nottingham

    On a lighter note, with the average cost of sending a person to higher education in the US standing at around $40k, and America's national debt at around $10,000,000,000 thats enough to send every person aged between 18-25 in the States to study at a higher level. Accounting preferably.

    November 4, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  54. Ash Fancy

    By doubling the amortization period, say from 30 to 60 years, for a $300,000 mortgage, we would reduce the monthly payment by about 30 %.
    Benefits: Home owners should be able to pay and remain owners, enjoy the benefits of owners, and future Capital gain if/once prices move back up.
    Penalty : Their intial greed will not allow them to pay off the mortgage all thier lives (they desereve that !).
    For the Banks, there would be no reduction in Asset values, and due to the lowering of interest rates, the funds they recieve from the home owners should help.
    This sounds like too simple a solution, and may well be , but I'd like to hear what the so called experts, even though many of whom got us into this mess, have to say about it. Certainly home owners should back the simplicity of it.

    November 4, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  55. Phil Sage, England, Nottingham

    The problem there Ash, is that the initial "greed" did not lie with the customer, it lies with the mortgate lender. Irrisponsible lending has been one of the main causes of the financial crisis and regulations, not directives, need to be implemented to stop this happening again.

    From a mortgage payers' point of view, a 60 year mortgage would simply be unworkable. The average working life is around 40 years, and with more and more people living into pensionable age, people would be unable to pay the last 20 years of their mortgage. This poses two problems - most people are not in a financial position to take out a mortgage aged around 20-25, meaning even if they could, that when they retire, they will either lose their house, or the government will be expected to bail out the defecit.

    Surely that would leave the finances of America and indeed most of the world, in the same situation.

    As ever, fiscal difficulties effect people at the bottom of the chain hardest, and instead of slamming people with unworkable repayment plans, Federal intervention can and should be made to make new guidelines for the future, and to organise a state-subbed repayment plan on the current debts.

    November 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  56. Rohit Bijlani

    "Designed in California, Made in China"
    Where do you think all the remaining jobs are?

    November 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  57. Jason Crawford, Taichung, Taiwan

    Simply put – talk to Warren Buffet! He predicted this would happen and the causes for it in 2002.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  58. Richard Mattoon

    The Federal Reserve dissolution is the Key to the health of the Republic as the people have allowed this 'private corporation' to control our currency and credit. When the US gov't returns to its constitutional authority to 'borrow money on the credit of the United States' and takes power away from the 'private banking interests' then the Republic will thrive just as it did in the 19th century, way before the Fed Reserve Act of 1913

    November 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  59. Ronald Aalten, The Netherlands

    and o jeah just look at the reflection on what u leave behind to be learn't from and not what u want for personal gain.
    so live for future generation u want ur kids to live well to live a better live than u did then make it so!!!!!!!!!!

    "KINK in socitety"

    November 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  60. Aliyu Okuroro

    The next president needs not to dig fresh hole because we are too deep to fall further. Obama needs to address the genesis of this present unfortunate circumstance "OIL"

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  61. Rohit Bijlani

    It is very unpatriotic on the part of American CEOs to outsource production and jobs to third world countries instead of creating jobs in their own country. The lesser cost of production is costing thousands of American households their livelihood.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  62. Kelvin Brooks

    What the new president of the U.S needs to do is to first of all deploy troops from Iraq and other war zones, then focus on American stocks.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  63. Vanessa Gray

    Instead of giving 700 billions to help the already rich survive, give each american 1million and start the economy back. It's cheaper. We don't have 700 billion Americans!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  64. Sam in Spain

    Give all the C.E.O's of the companies, and Finance Directors of the companies A.I.G.etc VERY LARGE SHOVELS and tell them to dig themselves out of the mess that they have created (No pay and No Bonuses) their greed is the old saying "MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL" so don't let them get away with it.,apply the Enron treatment to ALL who were involved in the sub-prime MORTGAGE BUSINESS.

    An Old Retired Honest Financial Advisor

    November 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  65. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    *informally*

    Mr Hodson, you said:


    There’s a much-told story about a couple becoming utterly lost in the back lanes of some rural area and chancing upon an ancient local inhabitant.

    Asked for the directions to their destination, the old man leans on his stick, furrows a wrinkled brow and remarks sorrowfully: “If I wanted to get there, I wouldn’t start from here.”

    The new incumbent won’t have any choice, any more than the couple in the story did.

    The aged chap, described in your tale, has a crustier cousin in (of course) New England. The old fellow lives in rural Vermont. He's a bit more laconic than his British cousin. His reply to the unfortunate tourists, once they have forced him to acknowledge them, in order to get them to go away:

    'You cahn't get there from here.' (accent like the Kennedys, only rustic)

    This is the same man who, should one be dim enough to ask him whether he thought it might rain, would say:

    'Always has.'

    The late cartoonist, B Kliban, did a drawing of this very man, leaning upon his walking stick, older than the Earth...

    The caption simply reads: 'It Was Hell', Recalls Former Child.

    ------- Link to Topic ------–

    I shall use your technique, of an old folk tale, to demonstrate how fast small changes can have huge consequences. This story is from the Middle Ages. The mathematics which says the same thing, is from the late 1970s.

    For want of a nail, a shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe, a horse was lost.
    For want of a horse, a rider was lost.
    For want of a rider, a message was lost.
    For want of a message, a battle was lost.
    For want of a battle, the war was lost.
    When the war was lost, then the Kingdom was lost.

    This is relevant - particularly to rebuilding the global economies, and key to solving the new US President's 'Inbox from Hell' full of travails.

    November 4, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  66. Patrick Johnson

    I think the first thing is to cut down on the American spending in Iraq. Billions of dollars of the Tax spent in Iraq for the past administration is equivalent to the financial bailout needed to get the economy back on. The Americans should know by now that the consequence of the huge spending in Iraq is the financial crisis at the moment. Next thing should be transparency in the federal reserve.

    Thank you!

    P.S: I forgot to say am a Nigerian.

    November 4, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  67. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Dear Mr Hodson,

    Yes, this is a bit scattershot. I guarantee, it will all make sense by and by.

    You said:

    By then, too, the usual remarkable capacity of the U.S. economy to create jobs will be fully exhausted. The unemployment rate will be rising inexorably.

    I disagree. The unemployment rate will surely go up like a clay pigeon, for the next few months, up to the first half of the first year, assuming an Obama Administration.

    I believe, within six months, that an Obama Administration could, with the help of Congress and the States, create a vast number of jobs in the construction and engineering, mining and manufacturing sectors, simply by making necessary repairs on the infrastructure of the United States, from the Federal level (Amtrak railway lines, Interstate Highways, dams, some bridges, many breakwaters and levees, anything to do with the US Postal Service), to the Municipal level (filling potholes, recycling and composting local rubbish, repairing local public buildings, improving/upgrading local departments of Motor Vehicles registration, clinics, Sheriffs' Departmments) - and everything in between.

    These repairs are horribly overdue, but nobody has been keen to spend the money. Yes, these are government-funded projects. Either the government can keep handing out Unemployment Benefit cheques, and get nothing back, and more people can no longer afford their homes, or the government can hire workers, to do work which desperately needs to be done - improve the country for everyone - at Union wages, which would potentially allow these workers to stay in their homes.

    It would also generate business opportunities: construction sites require food vendors, security guards, haulage for materials, and circulate cash in small towns which are going bust.

    Carefully considered - well thought-out - the gigantic proposition of rebuilding the US infrastructure - particularly in big cities, where there are subway systems, large bridges, and vast sewer-systems - can also upgrade towns and cities to use energy-efficient road lights, re-insulate public buildings, upgrade and recycle dark rooftop materials (and plant roof-gardens), change the type of concrete used in dark spaces to a lighter colour (absorbing less heat). Yes, it is a collossal task, and yes, it will cost a frightening sum of money.

    If done properly, the projects will not only be carbon offset, but will make the country permanently greener. In combination with re-negotiated mortgages, people can be back in work, keep their houses, not be on assistance which is very important to Americans. This is a modified 'teach a person to fish' model, and will certainly put a large number of unemployed builders, welders, machinists, engineers, and so on back into decently-paid work.

    I can see no way around massive spending, to climb out of the hole made by stupid spending.

    No, Mr Hodson,

    The USA has not run out of opportunities to create new jobs at all. Rather than pad the economy with zillions of useless bloomin' bureaucrats, as the UK did... :-( an Obama Administration could re-employ people in their own fields, to do work the government would have needed to do anyway, whilst retooling the automotive factories, to work more energy-efficiently, and build green vehicles.

    Of course, if John McCain wins, he could start a surprise ground-war with Russia, and just send all the worthless, unemployed people to invade Moscow... Then he can go on tv and talk about having looked in Putin's eyes, and seen a K, a G, and a B.

    (Which rather makes it sound as though McCain saw Putin with three eyes...)

    I have no suggestions for how to save the economy if McCain wins, because he will destroy everything he touches, and make George Dubya Bush look like the second worst President in US history.

    November 4, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  68. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    @ R. Mayer

    Say what? The President of the United States does not have the power to change the US Constitution! You must be from the States. Only an American would not know that! Google 'US Constitution Amendments + procedure'.

    November 4, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  69. Tan Boon Tee

    Obama has just won the presidency, but could he deliver?

    Unsavory Bush has left him a huge basket of rotten apples, waiting to be sorted out carefully one by one. Much will depend on Obama’s choice of the various secretaries running the nation. If the pick is a smart one, with the right person occupying the right post, his first term in office could well be a relatively smooth one. Otherwise, there will be endless of ugly nightmares.

    After all, nowadays, fortune can change overnight. It is not uncommon that a popular president may end up as a pariah in the eyes of his people in a matter of months (as already happened in a number of democratic nations). Just wait and see.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:12 am |
  70. Aaron K

    Now that Obama has been elected president, my biggest concern is how he will help small companies like ours (http://www.WomensBoots.com) grow.

    Will he tax profitable small businesses and to what extent? I hope he realizes that companies like ours power America's economic and job growth.

    November 5, 2008 at 6:22 am |
  71. Phil Sage, England, Nottingham

    Very clever Uma. Well, in a slightly less poetic sense, perhaps Mr Obama will be our Mr Frodo

    November 5, 2008 at 6:51 am |
  72. Elvis

    I believe the the first and important thing to fix is the financial system. The CDS(Credit Default Swaps) may not be in the bracket of trillions as reported by most media and so called experts. Once clearing house has been established, the actual figures may be only 1/10 of what is/are reported. Overlapping deals will surely be cancelled out in this process.

    Secondly, a huge fiscal stimulus is needed to jump start the economy.

    Lastly, higher taxes to those with income of 250,00(individual) rather than combine income. It is not about spreading wealth here but to build a financial reservoir for social security payments which will sum into a huge payout in comimg years....

    November 5, 2008 at 7:13 am |
  73. Charles Johnson

    Equality in the tax structure is paramount. If it is american to pay taxes, why are the richest Americans not paying their fair share of the tax burden?
    With equality in the tax code, the nation can proceed to pay it's way to become solvent again. There is "no free lunch", we will have to belly up to the table and pay up. Everyone must share the load equitably or compliance will always be a problem. Yes, we can "enforce" the tax code, but it is far easier to achieve compliance and deal with the dishonest few.
    When it comes down to it, the core of our problem is almost always money and the love of it. Perhaps it is a myth that all can share equally in America, but we can do much better than we are.

    November 5, 2008 at 10:53 am |
  74. Beckym

    When Solomon becae King, he asked God for one thing and one thing alone, :WISDOM to be able to know what to do and how to rule the people.,
    That's all Obama needs.
    All Obama's gotta do is get to praying and seek God's help!
    All things are possible with God. Amen!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  75. Jens Saevlind Sweden

    Tanx People of America!
    Make high speed train ALL over US it will save the planet and the finance.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  76. ex-pat

    Good for Obama.
    There are a lot of people that are looking to this 'saviour' to fix the problems of the world... As he said he will do. The best of luck to him. He has inherited a mess that Methusala would have a problem with.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  77. Gregg Barrett

    At the moment there is an exceeding amount of hype and hope. But while this massive media bandwagon makes alot of noise about the Obama victory, there is one absolute certainty in all of this – reality is about to come home and come home fast it will !!

    Charles, you and the team got any thoughts on who is going to be the next target of sarcastic attack now that President George W Bush is no longer going to be in office...?

    I think you should run a poll to gather some suggestions / targets.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  78. William Karr

    Teh President should change the color of teh US$ from Green to Blue, give everyone 30 days to exchange the currency and after 30 days no greenbacks would be honored, then all of that illegal currency being used worldwide would be worthless, bolstering the dollar, allowing for the payback to the taxpayer of the 700 billion dollare bailout and instilling an economy capableof real assitance to ourselves first and then the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  79. George M

    New president should mainly focus on recovering US economy, this should be first and Top priority. If economy will be better, more jobs will be available, more food on the table. I just want to work and pe fairly paid for my effort.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:58 am |
  80. juan b guerrero

    Th e first thing that the Mr. President Barrak Obama is to bring to justice all the people involved in the finnancial meltdown. This is a big task but it is possible since all this fraud is documented. Let them pay the price of their wrong doing. Second, it is necessary to install the electronic monetary system in which not currency is involve, so anyone who has illegal funds from illegal activities wont use it, and the monies will return to the nation.
    Thanks,
    Juan Guerrero

    November 5, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  81. Denny

    If President Obama is to lead America out of it's economic crisis he needs to get to the root of what started it. Maybe from the Oval Office he can get an answer to why gas is $5.00 or $6.00 per gallon when just three years ago it was $3.00 (this is based on gas prices in California)

    For the life of me I can not tell you why the price of gas skyrocketed under the Bush administration. However, once the price of gas started taking off all these other problems developed. Therefore, I believe that that is the root of the entire problem.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  82. John Nicholas

    You don't geddit.

    The old ways won't work this time. There will be no recovery without change. There is no going back.

    Recovery is ultimately fueled by energy via the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and even the IEA has started to admit the horrible truth – massive present declines in production, and no time or money to find alternatives.

    Any recovery will be a dead cat bounce. Observe China and tremble!

    Barack must continue as he started out this morning – find out the truth then tell it. He must lead the people, not follow the economists and analysts of the blind.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  83. bob

    The Greed Junkies on Wallstreet need to be educated...and even brought to trial... The War in Afghanistan needs the best of diplomatic Intelligence on the planet...listen..talk...listen...talk...this war cannot be won with weapons. The Islamic world has to take care of terror from their adress by themselves...The politics of fear is no solution to any problem. Climate Change is not the task of bussiness and politics to be looked after...its the human attitude to the planet that needs to change...humans have to stop killing each other... We dont need to save the planet...we have to love life here...and stop the "collective suicide" of the human race..

    November 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  84. Pellle

    The question should have been – What can George do now ?
    Regardless of which actions that will be taken, it will take some time before the effects appears. The world is still suffering from letting Lehman go down, it's all about psychology and trust for finance institutions.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  85. LONGMATEY EMMANUEL

    As he said, "the victory is yours" ... we are looking forward to a government that will bring peace and hamony, not to Americans alone but peace to the whole world

    November 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  86. Eric (Amsterdam)

    The first step was to elect Obama. This at least brings hope and expectations of change and, along with Obama's inspirational retoric, will bring some confidence back to the markets in the US and beyond.
    It's all about investor confidence, taking into account that even low share prices do not necessarily reflect the financial assets within companies.

    The second step will be to actually make some changes. Significant changes will take time. Smaller changes to stabilize the financial and housing markets may include specific measures aimed at financial institutions as well as those institutions which rely on steadily growing investments (insurance companies etc.). Perhaps measures on larger (gold) reserves, higher coverage ratios, stricter rules for mortgage providers etc.. Again, aside from the long term effects, the mere announcement of such measures may bring confidence back not just to investors but to consumers as well.

    The third step cannot easily be described. It will have to include more government spending, e.g. realizing projects which generate new jobs, e.g. energy-related projects. The end result will have to be to bring money back into the pockets of those Americans who lost their jobs, their houses, their happiness. This will be the most daunting task and will take years.

    A stronger dollar may also boost international trade, while Obama will certainly have a stronger positive effect on international relations (at least that's what I expect) which may bring some prosperity back to suffering business owners.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  87. Mohamed El Hawary

    Get the world out of the interest bearing whirlpool that will crash the world economies some day.
    Slowly phase out of interest bearing instrument based economy: Bonds, CDs, etc... That means a new non interest bearing financial system (bbye banks).
    Radical: yes. but we need a radical solution for a problem that will someday (if not now) 'cos armageddon. The financial system as a whole has to be rethought finding creative solutions to issues we used to solve by debt.
    From housing to municipal funding, everyone is in debt. So how do we do that? More taxation you say? Well, actually I think taxes and duties should be abolished completely as well. and I'm not a lunatic fanatic by the way, I have an MBA in International Business, not to brag, but to say that I'm not a loony, I'm just thinking out of the box.
    So what do we get instead of taxation? We get a wealth distribution system. Some people do have much more than they need. I'm not saying that it's not their right if they worked for it, but I'm saying that if you want fair, you should create a system that gives a chance to people who never had opportunity to do something out of their lives.
    So again, A system where an X amount of US$ is decided that is deemed for a middle class person to live a descent life. Anything that a person owns above that is subject to a yearly 2% community tax. The taxed amount should have been in the person's possession for one fiscal year. So you have a number in the beginning of the year and a number at the end of the year and you take the lesser of the two.
    I think this system is not only fair, but it's good for business and it is pro "constructive" capitalism. A person who has US$ 10 billion will pay about US$ 200 million (still has plenty). There is always money coming in (even in bad years), It eliminates tax havens, which only the filthy rich take advantage of.
    By the way, this system was adopted before in history, it is proven and it works. It has a name, try to figure out what it is :)
    P.S. In case there is a question about where people put their money, there is such a thing as a checking account which is non-interest bearing. This is not fair that I put my money in the bank and not get an interest you say? Well.. here's another pro to the system, you give more incentive to the people to invest, more cash coming into the system, constructively. Also, look at that other side of the coin, how do you get that interest? Well a big portion of it comes from interest paid by lenders (can you say mortgage crisis?). So at the end of the day, WE ARE BETTER OFF.
    Hope I made sense.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  88. skoopy

    First of all lest enjoy the Happy day ! when change is dawning on the world!
    yes thanks to Mr Bush he has put us all in the doom and gloom mood.
    by all his blood thirsty dream to be mentioned in history as a waring prisedent so he got!
    just getting out of Iraq and Afaganstan ,and only concentrating on the wellfare of the citzens of America! will left the economy up , bring hope in people life and end of 8 years of killing fear and mesiry!
    so lets wish the God man a happy term and a successful 2 termas till he can get it out of the mud! and we all will help!
    Abundance is a believe , and faith in the Godness of the universe!
    GOOD TIMES ARE A HEAD OF US ALL ALL OVER THE WORLD

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  89. Nina Kangas

    Pass a law that will not allow people to borrow money for house or apt without having 20% down. This will insure that people only buy property that they can afford.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  90. Anneke

    Split the financial industry into speculative and retail. Insure and bail out the retail banking and let the speculators fend for themselves when their "innovative" financial mechanisms fail.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  91. Sergiusz Madurowicz

    Regulations and restrictions on financial trading activity should be introduced in the way preventing short term speculation and creating artificial assets.
    Few "smart" people should not have a possibility of shaking the whole world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  92. Peter Joseph

    Curtail (furthermore) the powers exercised by the multinationals and greedy Financial institutions who’s immoral behaviour (by their manipulation of people and companies in such a way, that just a few gain excessive wealth!) and who, ironically enough, have allowed the USA to be susceptible to change as envisaged by the president elect mr. Obama. Moreover I would certainly overhaul all domestic institutions who currently only adhere to strong capitalistic (selfish!) views. At the same time I should promote public awareness for the injustices of the capitalistic system, while at the same time I would advocate the personal responsibility of individuals who, when united, can achieve the impossible as shown in the USA today! Mr. Obama is really the right President at the right time for the USA!!! God bless him and his crew.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  93. Hisan

    First thing Mr. Obama should do is to re-evalute all the wars Bush has started and everywhere where US troops are deployed uneccesserily. Hundreds of billions of dolars of US tax payers are being wasted in aggression that is not only damaging to the USA's image aboard and with it's allies, but it is also damaging the economy.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  94. stephen zweedijk

    Mr. Obama should not enlight war, but trie to prevend war, the 3th!

    quote BBC news: Russia to move missiles to Baltic!.

    We are at new times, the question is what kind of a time...

    Let's hope peacefull.

    SZW

    November 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  95. rbr

    We need to reverse our trade deficit. Some of the most respected economists were dead wrong. Trade deficits are not manageable and will eventually bankrupt a country. It may be later or sooner, but it will happen. This will keep wealth at home. The single quickest way to do this is a eliminating our dependence on foreign oil. It would be easy to "kick the habit" but it can be done by embracing a green economy that can create thousands of new jobs, lower our expenses at home and give our children a future to look forward too. Trade does not need to be free it needs to be balanced and a “win-win” for all sides.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  96. Concerned Citizen

    Obama should resign to fix the economy. No really, think about it......the majority of people who vote for Obama are lower income and will not be spending any extra money anytime soon to help the economy. The rest of us middle class citizens are scared to death of an Obamanation that will bring the government down our heads, take away our rights and tax the crap out of us. Therefore we will hold tight to our money and hope we can survive the next 4 years. If no one is spending money, economy is going no where but down..... I never thought I would see the day when American would elect such an extreme liberal President. People better start thinking before they vote or we are all in big trouble............if it's not too late already!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  97. Claude Ratelle

    In my 50 living years I have never seen such an honest, honorable, capable, dedicated leader to the most important job on earth ! Seeing enough day to day deminor to put that typocast on Mr. Obama, I am rejuvenated with " What is Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong ". Time to regulate the financial market and inspire the world. Legislate and put acountabilities and consequances for the deviator to the new rules to come. All public companies CEO's and CFO's with barometers to personnal income. Audit 4 fortune 500 and 4 all other public company's per year ( randomw draw ) and publicize the result, so to gradually clean up the true finacial picture of all publicly traded companies. Adress the analysts, and stock brokers and legislate. Adress the US banks and legislate. Draw from the best minds to define the recipee. No end to what can be done... But sticking to the plan is a must.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  98. Phil

    Every determination taken by a President Obama will have a huge influence on the rest of the planet. Usually lawmakers in a country where most people are ignorant of foreign languages and have no knowledge of the outside world (and a strong belief that they have the best system ever) decide what is best only for their own narrow and short sighted interest, but the world expects Obama to stop the unilateralism of the Bush years. Now the USA is paying years of make-believe economics, when companies have been exporting their profits to fiscal paradises and when ordinary citizens dreamt in infinite credit to buy ever bigger SUVs. The dificits must be stopped, why should the world save to pay for the profligacy of the USA ?
    Apart from that, when the best and brightest in a country are lawyers or traders, who can expect that the industry to be successfull ?

    November 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  99. Marcia Jones

    Obama for America, Obama for the World:

    We are elated at the dawn of this day in the US truly, no matter what, from here on in, we must keep hope alive. To the conscious minded, like Dr. King, you can indeed stand on the mountaintop and see the promised land.

    We also must accept that it will take a unified, determined hard working people to cross over to that land. I'm a Virgin Islander who see his vision and have pledged to keep that hope alive for my young son. Moreover, the fact that he has two little daughters tells me that he has as much at stake as I do.

    We supported him in the primaries and look forward to working for him and with him to help rebuild America. In summary, in our hearts today the residents of America's paradise celebrate this coming together of all people with the hope of bringing positive change in our world.

    Go USA, .......together we can, yes we can.

    Marcia Jones
    St. Thomas, USVI

    November 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  100. OrBAzMA

    Did u see the movie:

    How did I get my 1st OrBAzMA

    Running this week on selected theaters.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  101. thomas

    the biggest problem in the world today and is actually playing a role in the world's economic problem is the inability of Africa to stand on it s feet, Africa as a continent, has innumerable resources & potentials yet untapped and this is a drag, if we have a case were we have an allround 360" economic development in the world, most of the problems will be solved. President Obama has to drive Africa's cause for liberation from the shackle of bad leadership and push for development and steady power so we could have a smaller global village (closing the developmental gulf that exists in the world) most of the funding that went into war during bush'es administration could have gone into ties with country's like nigeria or ghana etc.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  102. Hassan Abbas Khawaja

    US war in Iraq and Afghanistan is one major reason for economical crisis. By ending the war and bringing peace will really help in bringing economical revival in the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  103. Andrea

    Family first.

    Take care of America, before deailng with the rest of the world. We have dumped so much money into other countries, yet, have we really seen anything good come out of it? Why are we still trying to re-build everyone else?

    Great. Everyone around the world is saying that Obama will change the image of America. He represents change. But for who? That is yet to be seen. And living over in the UK now, I don't get why everyone is saying it. He is not their President Elect? how do they thing he's going to change their lives? They don't live in the U.S.?

    Obama needs to run the United States, as if he is running a well organized business.

    Transparency must be given to the people. To know where the waste is and explane it to the American people for why we are cutting or not cutting funding for certain line items. Make sure America is happy and healthy and the Country is running smoothly. It is not our place to take care of the world every single time there is a disaster. It is plausable that we do help on a global level, but we keep turning our back on what is happening in our own Country.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  104. Lady

    Well, well it won´t be easy at all! It´s been over 8 years of bad policies and economical judgments.. Barack will have to be strong with his decisions and objective.. he will have to go up against the upper class and companies who for more than 8 years were currupt and "robbed" the middle class and lower class americans.

    I suppose he will need drasctic supervision and survaillance measures to all big companies (banks, financial companies, realestate, manufactures, etc..)and their funds, profits, payments etc..

    Cut backs on high wages for people who gain comissions and bonuses for their positions, and than recive very high retiremente gains that can´t be supported by the middle class..

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  105. Gaurang Vyas

    According to me Barack Obama need to focus on followings:

    1. Focus on Energy Sector & create more job opportunities in America.
    2. Control on Expenditure over security means do only essential.
    3. Lead the people to face Economic Challenges coming ahead.
    4. More development programs with India.

    We welcome Obama.
    GV

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  106. p jay

    recruit colin power as chief of staff and ask him to run the place for a while until obama has a grip on the situation

    November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  107. isauro

    If we were to get out of Irak right away, how much money would we save?? What would happen if we used that money in aiding our economy.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  108. Stavros Zervoudakis, Athens Greece

    Congratulations Mr. Barack Obama on the well deserved victory!

    I am sure that until January 20th you will have a chance to sit back and think carefully what needs to be done to fix the economy, the world economy that is.

    In my opinion, perhaps it is the time to re-write the Financial Books! The mess we have gotten into is a virtually-generated mess with lasting impact on our real lives. The financial system has been generating values of what it calls "products" which in fact have no value to the humans. It is value of the value. Value of a subrime mortgage, value of a derivative, value of a company...

    Yes, the value of a company which trades in the exchange has nothing to do with its real value in what usefullness it generates in products and services!!! It is only a function of supply and demand of its stock. Which depends in a great degree on what rumors exist at a time and NOT on what usefulness it generates to the humanity.

    There Mr. Obama the books need to be re-written. Value of a company being traded should largely depend on the independedly assessed value of the "usefulness" it creates for human kind and the animals and the planet and less on volumes of the supply and demand of its stock. So the CEOs will focus on generating value and not speculation. And we investors will support companies worth supporting. And the values will be values.

    My 2 cents.
    Stavros Zervoudakis, Athens Greece

    November 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  109. julie de wolff

    I hope outside of all the problems Obama has to face he will eventually clean out all the lobbyists from Washington. They have been running the government for the past years without any votes or mandate of the people.

    The other huge bugaboo is the cost and length of these campaigns every 4 years. If only one tenth of the money and effort was put into righting the health, education and employmentr situation in the US we'd be far better off. Take note of how they do it in the UK or the rest of Europe. Far more sensible.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  110. Khadija

    First, let me congratulate President Obama on this historic day. I am grateful that the principles of democracy still exists in the world, and once again, America can say it is leading the free world.

    The President-elect needs to focus on the economy, whilst keeping one eye on national security. Because the whole world is happy with him, does not mean unwanted entities will not try to take advantage of this. Goodluck Mr. President!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  111. javier

    first find a way to end the war. then try to find a way to end the energy crisis, stop americas thirths for oil, invest in green energies make cars more eficient and last balance the bugdet and start to pay all the debt.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  112. zepi

    ABOLISH THE FEDERAL RESERVE is what he should do first!!!! Then the problem will solve itself!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  113. Hector

    I believe the recipe is quite simple. First, Obama should ask the nation to stick to its great principles, none of which is that silly arrogance for which Americans have come to be known; America should be open, open minded, welcoming and should interact with other equally great nations on Earth. Second, Americans should come to the realization that America is not a superpower anymore and should get out of the continuous cycle of wars which it tends to lose anyhow. Third, Obama should make America realize that it needs to save instead of consuming; America is not blessed by God in that respect or anything; Americans need to live by the principles of the fathers of the Nation, which were hard work and frugality.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  114. Ms. A. C.

    To overcome the financial crisis, citizens should be encouraged to save money in saving accounts. They should also adopt environment-friendly, energy-saving methods to conserve energy and fuel. This goes a long way in strengthening a nation's economy.
    For example, humidifiers installed in houses and buildings can be replaced by potted plants, to save energy.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  115. Jan

    In the end, the reason for the crisis is simple: the burdon to take risk has just been too low and shall be increased, i.e. through a global obligatory insurance charged to the issuer on the basis of the risk rating and consequential damage for any financial transaction. Hence, risk will be quantifiable as a premium to any transaction, and will not be just another timebomb to be handed over to the next 'victim' as soon as possible. Sorry for the actual victim that was holding the handgranate this time, Leeman Brothers...without measures this will just happen again. Natural reaction from the financial markets will be that they don't like to be taxed and that this will limit (long-term) growth, but fundamentally the global society needs to understand whether it accepts the actual risks that have now capitalized. To my humble opinion: no, I take that (small) cap on my wealth growth and avoid to be passenger in a next financial rollercoaster ride. Next, to lower the inefficiency risks, the premium could be spend on (other) measures to direct the global financial market into sustainable investement strategies. The speed that we use (current) resources on this planet is questionale anyhow, so some slow-down to leave something for your and my children can hardly be unacceptable, I'd say. Mr. Obama: yes, you can!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  116. Charles Gates

    It may be argued that the problems of the USA and the world are due to a very simple thing. The world has basically turned its back on God.
    He then permits the fruitage of that rejection to take its natural course in the hope that someday the world and its leaders will wake up to themselves and right the wrong by leading the people back to God.

    After all ,there is a statement which says "Righteousness exalts a nation".

    And another statement. "Where there is no vision the people perish."

    November 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  117. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Oi!... Biz News Team!

    Slow down, people! The United States officially still has a President, and Senator BaracK Obama (D-IL) is not him!

    You are all getting so ahead of real life! Wishful thinking, I know...

    It would be a horrible breach of courtesy and protocol for the President-elect to participate in, or attend, or send surrogates to, or be perceived to be 'meddling' in any way, with anything the Lame Dubya does.

    Likewise, it is a breach of courtesy and custom for Dubya to make any significant decisions, or take any actions, upon which the President-elect would have to either follow up, or (and this would be bad) rescind and do over, his way.

    The G20 meeting, from Barack Obama's point of view, is something the President is doing, while Obama is still a sitting Senator from Illinois. Nothing more!

    Dubya's job is to go, be noncommittal and polite, and leave. He's just said he'll work with the President-Elect's Transition Team, to keep them informed. That's the other part of his job, now.

    * walk away singing 'OH FREEDOM', very loudly...*

    November 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  118. Bobber37

    I think we need to take a serious look at what we tolerate from Wall Street.

    I know I'll take a lot of flack for this comment but here it goes.

    There is something fundamentally wrong, (yes WRONG) with making money at the expense of another’s failure, weather real or derived.

    To bet that a stock or other financial instrument will decrease, or increase, is wrong. If you want to gamble go to Vegas.

    Secondly, Hedge Funds should be able to backup what their guaranteeing. If I go to a hedge fund manager and ask him to guarantee my 1 billion USD in bonds I should be required to prove that not only do I have the assets to cover his loss but all the losses I’m covering, at least a set percentage.

    It’s been the unregulated greed that has gotten us into this mess. So like little children that can’t behave it’s time for rules that govern their behavior. Only after they have proved they can be trusted should they be allowed to operate with controls that protect the rest of us from the type of financial meltdown that their greed has caused

    November 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  119. Bill

    He should first step aside and hand the reins to someone who LOVES HIS COUNTRY, FOUGHT FOR HIS COUNTRY. CNN and the other networks caused this embarasment to the USA by only reporting the left wing. You preach democracy...try it once see how it works.
    This election was the biggest farce I have seen.
    John Macain suffered as a POW now will have to suffer again for another 4 yrs. Glad not to be Americian...I respected and supported you till last night.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  120. Sander

    It is truely and historic day. Here in the Netherlands, I can hear the name Obama buzzing in the streets and coffee corners. I even heared people yelling 'yes we can'. The whole world is watching. We all want the US to change, and we hope this will be a change for the good.

    This is the chance for Obama to let the United States lead the world in the direction the founding fathers envisioned. In a transparant way based on mutual respect.

    Obama has to take some bold decisions without letting lobby groups tell him what to do. Honesty, transparancy and consistency is what the world is hoping for, dialogue instead of diplomacy, and diplomacy instead of war.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  121. chua koon beng

    The divorce between the real minimum value of property assets and free marketing pricing.

    Sub-prime mortgages represent a small part (5%) of the mortgages in the US (accordingly to numbers previously released in March 08).

    Assets like houses has a minimum "book value" that should be de-coupled from market forces of supply and demand as there is a real cost to construct a house that is livable and a roof-over-head is the basic requirement for human sustenance other than food. The house as an asset's valuation is proposed to be sum of the 2 components of land value and building value which is currently used as a common valuation model. The minimum land value should be specified and endorsed by government bodies and the building value should be tied to the real cost of building a house of the quality and size. Let us call this the real minimum value "RMV". This is a different scenario from price fixing.

    The current sub-prime crisis has already spun out of control NOT proportionate to the real problems facing US and its value and productivity vis-a-vis the world today but due to a lack of clarity within the financial market's decision makers on the value of its investment portfolio. This has already been rightly analyzed by many analysts and financial commentators. Without the relevant data, financial experts are at a loss too and the common wisdom of herd instinct and fear sets in across the masses and even some experts. This negative cycle makes the job harder for the experts by the day as financial values of assets spiral downwards and market conditions worsen. Rational people will be making safe and conservative decisions due to a lack of information and in the face of uncertainty, and the financial market's pool of decision markets are hired as part of their job to make decisions and act on them; their combined decisions will be what move the market eventually and this is the key group of people we need to address. We need to pin something down with a real world value where people live and breathe for the market financial decision makers to reference and move from there in a rational manner.

    Proposed out of the box solution:

    1. US Government still has the fire power in the form of cash and policies to break the Chaos Theory's repercussive effects that has gone beyond logic.

    2. When the mortgage remaining of a house is more than its current market value and this market value is below the RMV worked out, then the market dynamics of supply and demand has overtaken the real world where its habitants still need to eat and sleep and be sheltered from the elements.

    3. Instead of using the cash available to rescue banks and financial institutions, the money is proposed to be used to buy back properties and a portfolio of state-owned housing assets created. The assets shall then be managed and utilized by renting to its citizens who need them. The goal of the scheme is to bring inline the market value of the assets with at least its real minimum value (RMV). This proposal would fail if the current market value is way above the RMV of residential houses once it is worked out (refer to proposed RMV computation guideline below).

    4. The impact on quickly working out a tentative RMV of houses would allow a real valuation of all the CDOs and related financial instruments of securities and derivatives and allow the market dynamics to correct prices and stability to return.

    5. And should the cash with combination of policies be insufficient to buy over a meaningful portion of the houses based on RMV, then world wide government bodies and financial institutions can be invited to buy into the US government public housing assets set up. Foreign countries will be referencing their PSF of land value with PSF of buildup value and be able to make a decision on whether it's worth buying into the assets in US at this price then. Now they are not buying complicated financial packages but real assets using a real world valuation model that they can bench mark against using their own country's current value.

    6. The underlying fundamentals supporting the above approach here is that the US is still a first world country with all its positive and attractive pros for a person living there. It is NOT a case that a meteorite has hit US land and it is no longer a great place to live.

    7. It is not a desirable situation when there are physical houses available and there are people without homes and such houses are left without proper maintenance and left to decay and accelerated damage. The cost of maintenance is lower than the cost of repair after damage, and worse still, destruction which entails re-construction. When housing assets are not maintained through its owners or inhabitants due to a collapse of the banking system and no ownership of the buildings, we would expect the eventual decimation of the RMV of these housing assets, which would further bring down the real worth of US in sum. This view point entails at looking at housing assets like a form of natural resources that are perishable and need maintenance.

    8. The solution may not be as simple as it is but if the premises were well rooted, the direction to find the right solution may just be there. The rest is execution. The RMV model would also help give a fair basis of property assets as a country develops and prevent erratic market behaviour and speculative bubbles.

    Proposed RMV computation guideline:

    1. Residential Land should be valued from a world wide basis with key variables such as country GDP as proportion of the global GDP, actual land area with built up in each city, and in fact, how attractive a country is to the world's population to live in. With current technology and real estate data available in each developed cities and the world essentially mapped through satellite, this differential comparison is a definite possibility. Similar to the idea of price parity, differential GDP across countries reflects the per unit earning abilities for the same skill sets or labour in that country. It follows that the fact that you live in a country with a higher GDP and are free to work typically entails a higher pay for the same or similar work.

    2. The land area for this purposes should be restricted to residential area with the city perimeters and the built up areas only, excluding the zoned areas that are not developed yet since we want a RMV now and not future projections. This value can be benchmarked against GDP of each country as a proportion of the global GDP and there should be some comparable numbers across cities that come up from this computation. The reasoning is that the higher the GDP of a city or country, the higher the worth of the land since the corresponding earning powers by being at that land is correspondingly higher.

    3. More economic benchmarks like competitiveness ranking, favourite city for migration, etc. can be factored in to make the computation and comparison across cities finer and closer to the true value that incorporates not just economic real value but perceived value by the world's population i.e. the hard value and the soft value akin to hardware and software.

    4. This model can be further developed to provide an international model of land price valuation that would prevent real estate bubbles and the turmoil that follows speculative activities and bursting of bubbles. Building value will be simpler and tied to professional fees and construction costs where there is a difference across cities as well and the average numbers are largely available for computation.

    (P.S. The above was first sent to various publishers in Mar 08)

    November 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  122. Henry

    Yesterday, Martin Luther's dream came to pass. when people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  123. Kathy

    1) As one of "the middle class", I like Vanessa's idea!

    2) Obama will be printing these responses, as he needs the advice because he has no personal experience on these serious issues.

    3) Only Beckym's idea WILL work...

    November 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  124. Dan C.

    1. CUT MILITARY SPENDING!!! why do we spend $600 bill+ on our military when the #2 (china with 5 times as many poeple) spends only $65 billion??? IT really isnt nesecary . If we have firends and diplomacy, we dont need a massive military all over the world

    We can DRASTICLY cut back on spending to balance our budget

    2. Cut WAY back on unnesecary government expenditure
    3. Elimintate the IRS...Flat tax of 25% of everything...done
    4. Stop policing the world and focus on our own country
    5. Be kind peaceful people who focus on education and taking care of poeple...it is cheaper than fighting all the time.

    The problem is that nobody will really take these steps.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  125. Tom P

    It's a list:

    Create jobs in alternative energy production.

    Increase the passenger railways and create jobs in creating a new 21st century infrastructure.

    Make sure that those who want to work are finding jobs that will allow them to support their families.

    Create tax incentives to keep businesses and industries in the US.

    Get rid of government handouts to people who don't want to work.

    Improve education to no longer spend its time on controversial issues of study but to spend its time teaching students the value of money, hardwork and integrity and make sure that basic skills in reading, writing and math are brought to the forefront.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  126. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Hello Phil Sage, in Nottingham,

    I'm sorry, I don't quite follow you. Are you speaking of 'Mr Frodo' as addressed by Samwise, in Lord of the Rings? I might understand what you meant, if that is the case.

    If you're making a reference to a kids' show from the '70s or something, you need to know that although I have always been 'British', in the sense of nationality, I have only been parenthetically English. My family moved abroad when I was four. I lived abroad, mostly in the States, for forty (yes, 40) years. Then I came back to the UK. I have a great, gaping chasm where 'UK pop culture' is concerned.

    I spent 2007 watching UKTV-Gold, and horrid, silly films that everyone has seen, just so I'd know the names of popular shows and actors, and that sort of thing, from the intervening twoscore years, during which I refused to be American, but was definitely not English, except in a very out-of-date sort of way. Both of my parents were naturalised British citizens, and my mother grew up under the Raj.

    It gives me lots of insight into US history, society, and culture. I can answer questions about that economy, because I paid attention, and was a grass-roots, social justice activist, in the States.

    I'm hopeless at cryptic references, because you might be assuming I know something which I have no way of knowing...

    Honestly, it's a very weird way to be... but that was the road on which life took me.

    Please clarify? I don't even know whether you were being sarky or complimentary... How embarrassing is that?

    Uma

    November 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  127. Bob Maciag

    Mr. President,

    The World asked America to Change. Now we must ask the World to Change with US.

    It is time for ALL to Own Up to their duty. Governments must join forces with America and stop riding our Coattails. The blood of our Brother and Sisters must not be in vain. America should not be the only country to stand for Freedom and People's Rights. It is time for our Allies to share in the burden.

    Respectfully,

    Bob Maciag

    November 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  128. David

    Base on how much money he raised and spent on the election, maybe he can do the same thing to pay people's mortgages – seek donations. DON'T RAISE MY TAXES or STEAL MY RETIREMENT!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  129. Gianfranco

    Now America must tech all human race we are everybody "the son of God", black o white. He has to re-distribute money from rich to poor, not all but the necessary one in order to allow everybody to live a dignity life.
    Caviar for soma but bread for all.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  130. Alan

    Let the people who took the unneccessary risks that got the world into this mess also take the losses that result. If shareholders believe that management was reckless and failed to inform them of the risks they were taking, the law should allow for the recovery of assets from that management. While this will not cover the extent of the losses, it will sober future management.

    Risk takers MUST NOT escape the consequences of the risks they took. Bail-out funds should NOT go to people who took the risks, they should go to those who are the innocent victims.

    Using public funds to rescue people from suffering losses from bad decisions is immoral, and should be stopped. Funds should go to encourage people to invest, and to get them to keep their houses. Banks who were too greedy should be allowed to fail, to be replaced with new ones who are not. When banks fail, depositor funds should be guaranteed with the bail out funds. If you look at the hole created, and think who must cough-up to fill it, the risk takers should be the first to dig into their pockets. The public should be the last, and the government is the public.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  131. Centry

    I am a white South African male, You have just chosen a man that will kill all American dreams. Obama will not make good on his promises!

    November 5, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  132. Rowed2damascus

    1. Find a way to make the U.S. an attractive destination for corporations. There needs to be some incentive to bring them in. This may involve him rethinking his tax plan.

    2. Find the best plan from Gen. Petraeus to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pulling out does not end the war, but merely shows we are unwilling to win.

    3. Give tax breaks to corporations and people who are actively seeking to solve our energy crisis. Emphasis could be given to those corporations that are creating new jobs in America.

    4. Show people the importance of a true Democracy; where the citizens of the U.S. take responsibility of their country and not apathetically relying on the government. Citizens of the U.S. need to be able to have their say in the laws passed. By giving this control over to the average citizen, debates can finally end about abortion and same-sex marriage, as the laws will be decided in a truly Democratic way: with the citizens vote.

    5. Most importantly, he must evaluate the Constitution of the United States of America to see how it started in the context of their times and use that to guide his decisions.

    6. Find a way to reward those who work for the betterment of the U.S. while finding a way to motivate those that are leeching the system.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  133. Keith

    After the economy is stimulated through job creation, repeal all federal minority and gender-based business requirements. Let the American people obtain work based on merit rather than race or gender. He has proved it can be done. Let's stop the handouts and encourage production.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Michael HALPERN

    A truly historic day when the stain and the stench of the terrible Bush years will finally be cleansed: when America will again move forward as a light to the nations: when decency and democracy will again prevail and when the horrors of the tens of thousands killed and tortured around the world will be remembered as an appalling aberration. The dream of the founders of America has again become reality. A defining moment indeed – thanks to the incredible faith and commitment of honest people.

    November 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  135. Marco S.

    he should teach the people that the economy can not be based on loans and greed – some day, somebody has to pay the bill.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  136. James Bosheya

    He should take this below offer seriously:
    Acknowledging the job ahead, I have written three simple strategic programs that will eradicate house foreclosure; sales drop and bring in 500,000 jobs in just 5 months. These programs will free up 80% of the intended money that was planned to bill out main street and Wall Street. Which will enable Obama to carry out its five main agendas as soon as he get into office without adding to the existing 700 billion dollar bailout fund.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  137. Andrea N

    Protect homeownership, including a moratorium on foreclosures, introduce tax breaks as promised, stop golden parachutes and follow his Kenyan grandmother’s advice: “work hard for world peace”.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  138. Guillermo Bona ( Switzerland)

    We cannot continue to have a worldwide economy working ( and growing) if we do not have a reliable monetary unit. The USA ( and, incidentally, all mayor world economies) cannot afford to continue having a constantiy oscillating currency which has continuosly and relentlesly lost purchasing power over the past century. We will continue to have cyclical crises regardless of any economic plan or incentive, if we continue to leave money creation in the hands of private bankers ( the FED).......it is the equivalent of trying to build a cathedral whilst changing the measuring tape every day. We need to have a stable (fixed ) monetary unit which cannot be changed by "the politician du jour". If he does not get the monetary unit right , any other economy related plan is like building castles in the sand.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  139. Rob

    Flat taxes. Reduce the thousands of pages of tax law to a few hundred. Every country that has gone to flat taxes has turned their economies around and started to thrive.

    We don't need anymore tax cuts. We need to pay off our countries debt. The interest alone is costing us more than 500 billion a year. We need to get rid of the loopholes and have everyone pay their share without a way to squirm out of it.

    I personally made over $150k a year over the last 6 years and each year I legally received more money back in my taxes than I paid. I know that I am not the only one and this needs to stop.

    Think of all the time the average person takes each year to sort, store, record, and file their tax material. Wouldn't that time be better spent with their families or or in other pursuits?

    Using a flat tax would reduce stress on the average person. Do you realize that a good portion of hospital visits are related to stress related illness?

    So a flat tax would affect; health care, the national debt, the amount each person saves, and so much more. We have all seen the affect a weak U.S. economy has on the world.

    By the people, and for the people. Pay our debt, and grow strong.

    November 5, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  140. James Davis

    Both of the candidates were wrong on economic policy. You DON'T raise taxes OR balance the budget during a recession or a war! At least McCain admitted he was an idiot for wanting to balance the budget. And to those who say Obama will not raise taxes, you are dead wrong. He will raise taxes to pay for the huge proposed increase in government transfers to the poor. Oh an buy the way, government transfers have a tax effect on the economy and will reduce Aggregate Demand which will deepen the recession. But the media won't spin it that way so we will just sit happily eating our TV dinners and praising ourselves for voting in a black president and feeling all gooey about how great we are for doing so. Maybe its a good thing though for the American public to be in a coma for the near future.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:20 am |
  141. adam hartung

    President Obama won't be able to "fix" anything until he creates a significant Disruption – and finds some White Space to do new things. Those were the keys to success for Kennedy and Reagan. Can Obama find his own "fire the PATCO air traffic controllers" issue that will give him the lattitude to do something new – like experiment with the Laffer curve? Read more at http://www.ThePhoenixPrinciple.com

    November 6, 2008 at 2:14 am |
  142. Mr Wilson

    He should start by reading these comments!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  143. CL

    US folks should not just blame the government and Fed for the current financial mess US is in.
    The root cause of the problem is that too many Americans are living way beyond their means. Too many are living on credit. Anyone with some brains would know that this situation will not be sustainable. Yes, you want the latest Ipod or other fancy stuff, & you don't care whether it's within your means... some consumerism is good but over-consumerism is harmful. How can one keep borrowing and expect things to continue to go well indefinitely? Americans are lucky in that US is the largest economy in the world and because of globalization and interconnectivity of the world economy, other countries cannot afford to get US fail even though the root cause of the problems are mainly US domestic issues. That's why foreigners are still buying US treasuries and still funding the US deficit.

    Recession is unavoidable as leverage is unwound and people start living a more realistic lifestyle. Americans should start learning to save. Live within their means, learn from people like the Asians, who though not as rich as many Americans, save a significant percentage of their pay. Americans probably have heard of the saying "save for a rainy day" but have not practise it as they expect their government to dole out money to save them from the mess. I think it's now time to be realistic. I think what the government should do is to try to moderate the impact of the recession, to make it less severe, though it may las a longer time. Try to save jobs by perhaps increased spending on infrastructure projects(like alternative energy projects which will help US achieve energy independence and create jobs that's not wasteful) even though people may get paycuts. If the government just hand out some funds to encourage people to spend, that's not sustainable and will contribute to an even bigger mess later.
    Hope the new adminstration will make the right decisions as the decisions will not only affect Americans but also people of the world.
    Good luck to the new Obama Adminstration.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:14 am |
  144. Richard Robles

    Someone on t.v. said, "Obama is going to double the minimum wage." So, this would be an example of depreciating the dollar (as it has been for several years), and similar to lowering interest rates, so more money will be floating around. Add to this, "spreading the wealth", you will end up with the Keyesian economics of supply and demand.
    The poor, eager to spend their money (other's), will create the demand that will get the economy rolling by producing the supply. In the meantime, Wall Street must be forced to regulate itself, but for some time, government intervention will be necessary.
    So, by keeping Wall Street in line, and letting the people have their spending spree (as Wall Street has), may render a start to economic recovery.
    But, the fact of the matter is: there must be a grass root effort to save money, stop living beyond one's means, and take responsibility for the decisions we make with our money.
    I strongly believe, that Obama will come up with a "New Deal", and educate the American people about what each of us must do in this economy. A sixth sense tells me, that he will be one of America's greatest presidents. The masses that he has gathered, and the motivation to bring me and many others to the polls was astonishing, and seeing many tears of pride shed when he won the election, are the premises that Obama will be a great president.
    I voted for Obama, and I did it for the "Gipper."

    November 6, 2008 at 7:48 am |
  145. Atanu Banerjee

    Among many other steps, Mr. Richard Quest should be appointed as the statistician, always ready with all kind of charts and his enthusiasm, givng life to this rudimentary subject called economics, which will be so very useful and delightful for President Obama to see day-to-day health of country's economy. Thanks.

    November 6, 2008 at 8:47 am |
  146. SHASHIKANT S GUPTA

    SUGGESTIONS TO MR. OBAMA BARACK,

    I suggest the following economic measures to be taken, in order to ongoing-counter recessionery trend in the USA and to put it back on growth path..

    1. The first and the foremost is that USA Govt should explicitly wear weak US$ policies and it should be speak about this clearly in the market, through the president himself. This will start weakening US as against other world currencies. This is the single most and important factor by which US$ export will become competitive in the world and increase the exports and will bring more manufacturers in the USA, which will increase employment and investment. This will enable USA to control budget deficit and ongoing adverse balance of payment.

    2. As said above, the president should take all those steps which can weaken US$ v/s rest of the world’s currency.

    3. Another very important step the president should take is to immediately without any haste, resisting all the opposition from any one and everyone must slap special import duties on all Chinese origin goods, imported in the USA from any country. This provision should not be applied to those American Companies established and manufacturing in China having more than 51% of ownership by American citizen. It is very important that Chinese currency viz-a-viz US$ must appreciate considerably in rather short time. The president should brush aside all resistance that can be coming from Chinese Govt. or American businessman who are doing business in China, in this regard. The top most priority is that Chinese currency must appreciate as against US$. No doubt, this can create problem for Chinese economy, which is already slowing-down in the wake of financial crises. But this is the problem to be tackled by Chinese Govt. and I think, they are capable of doing it. Under any circumstances, the Americans should say that let Chinese get mad, if at all and save America.

    4. The president should deploy special tax incentives and disincentives in the bid to promote investment by American and rest of the world businessman into American economy. To create jobs, these incentives should be linked directly for employment creation. Which means a unit of tax incentives should be given per person of employment generated. So more business enterprise gives employment, more are the tax benefits to the enterprises and there should be special disincentives to those organizations, who are cutting down employment.

    5. The president should also consider giving special exports subsidy for the American Companies manufacturing goods and exporting.

    6. The special stimulus packages should be given to small enterprises, as they are the weakest and difficult to survive economic turmoil.

    7. In fact, re-distribution policies of the president should be extremely useful. Wealth in the hands of few large corporations, does not create so much demand in the goods and services, which the America is badly in need, as wealth in the hands of middle class or small businesses, create much more demand and consumption of goods and services, this demand increase will lead to economic recovery.

    8. The President should also look into the reform in Social Insurance. I have personally seen that in Europe that many many citizens, who are capable to doing very good work and take-up employment, do not go to work as the social insurance gives them a lot of money without work. This is a load on the exchequer by one side and great disincentives for the citizen to work. This amounts to reductions in the GDP. These kind of people also earn lot of money by side income. So on the whole, they make more money by not working rather than working. This is a fundamental problem. Above measures I think will do a great cause to restores confidence and bring back job to America. Further, fundamental structural problems for American economy is that the wages are extremely high as compared to Asian nations and therefore it is but natural that prosperity will shift from west to east as everything made in America is bound to be expensive.

    9. However, America can beat this by large-scale production, better productivity, better research, development and technology and above all correct economic policies.

    10. I strongly suggest that the President Mr. Obama Barack should work to bring about new peaceful world order. America should stop trying to become master of the world. It should be become Member of the world rather than Master. Due to polices of previous President trying to make America Teacher/Master/Dictator of the world, has created conflict and isolation with the rest of the world with America. The aggression of previous president of America in Iraq was illegal. It was clearly American state sponsored terrorism on Iraq. I suggest that the President Obama should build Iraq and withdraw troops unconditionally immediately. It should be the American responsibility to build Iraq back to its earlier prosperity.

    11. The President should also actively and very humbly discuss the new relations with resurgent Russia. The leader of both the countries should seriously cut-down the Defence expenditure and reduce the arms race. If all these happened, billions and billions of US$ on Defence expenditure can be diverted into economic growth to create jobs and prosperity and for sake of peace.

    12. The above are my personal views and am sending the same only with the purpose to make world better living place and free from avoidable conflicts.

    SHASHIKANT S GUPTA
    MANAGING DIRECTOR
    SUNDEK INDIA LIMITED
    AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA

    November 6, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  147. stella

    i pray that God gives Obama the wisdom and courage to tackle the challenges facing him, cos i think with God, he can break down the walls of jericho( world crisis)

    November 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  148. Roy Patterson

    The first thing I think should be done concerning the domestic economy is to cap the price of diesel and secondly cap and reduce interest rates on business loans. Between taxes and interest, start up, development and expansion of small businesses is to expensive. It is a shame because small business drives the economy along with an expanding economy of course. But then how do you maintain a growth rate that does not cover the exceedingly high costs. When money is flowing like water as it has been you can cover your costs and solve problems by dumping money on them. When revenue decreases and cost escalate you lay off, reduce hours blah blah blah. Personally as a capitalist nation I think that greed has gotten out of control and if we could control it we would be able control our economy and help control the economies of the world. But then the new President nor anyone else can change the nature of mankind.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  149. JOHN T

    My opinion:
    Like any business, layoffs, reduction in payroll and expences!!!!
    My recommendation to our new president elect is to change the way our government positions are compensated, if the offices are to work for the people they must feel what the people feel! County, state, federal appointed or elected position compensation should be the average income of the state or federal position they hold!!
    Just think how many of our senators and congressman and elected officials would jump ship!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  150. ALECO -----NOKOMIS,FL

    SEND ALL REPUBLICANS TO IRAQ-THAT WOULD HELP CLEAN UP THE MESS THEY CAUSED IN OUR COUNTRY.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  151. Yuca

    add Jim Rogers to his advisors

    November 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  152. Roy

    Nothing. You can throw money at this if you want to....but it'll repair itself in two years if you just let nature take care of the problems created. Remember....it wasn't the president who triggered this....it was greed with house owners, banks, lenders and congress. What idiot buys a $200k house with no down payment? What idiot agrees to take 40 percent of his paycheck to pay his bank loan? What idiot agrees that a house today of $250k will be worth $300k in five years? I don't see how you will "fix" greed and make the world happy in a short year.

    November 6, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  153. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    *Dear Mr Hodson, this is not entirely off-topic, but it is, a bit. I believe it needs to be said.*

    @ Andrea

    You said (and I'm not picking on you; too many people from the USA have said similar things):

    Take care of America, before deailng with the rest of the world. We have dumped so much money into other countries, yet, have we really seen anything good come out of it? Why are we still trying to re-build everyone else?

    Last night, I saw a Canadian blogger say that Obama was going to be good for Canada, because he would end the war in Iraq, and the Canadian Forces could go home.

    She then added what all of us, who live in member countries of the 'Coalition of the Willing' know, which is that when President Bush went haring off to (needlessly) invade Iraq, he left our troops to hold Afghanistan (a country the size of Western Europe, which forced the USSR into full retreat in only three years, when the USSR invaded in the late 1980s), with our smallish complements of troops, whilst investing the vast majority of US military resources in Iraq, and asking the Coalition to join the USA there, too.

    Canada's economy is not great. Ours is the worst-hit, in the G8. Australia, Italy, Japan, are all taking economic body-blows. We (the Coalition) have been managing ground-ops in Afghanistan, for five long years. British and other Coalition Generals and experts have stated outright, that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable by military force.

    It was very disappointing, that both candidates evaded the question about that, during the second debate.

    Suppose the Coalition nations were to say: 'We can't afford to finance our troops for your wars any more. Win, lose, or surrender, they're your problem, and we are not wasting any more of our young men and women, nor throwing any more money into wars that are futile, and not our problem!'

    Spain did say that, about Iraq.

    The USA would be twisting in the wind! Afghan-US, Pakistani-US, and Syrian-US relations are a bit chilly, and the US is unilaterally at fault!

    The US ground-forces are spread so thin, that the US has been dropping bombs on large groups of civilians, and then denying it, in Afghanistan. President Karzai sent a message to President-elect Obama, asking that the slaughter of civilians stop.

    Obama has no control over that, yet. It seems Karzai has lost interest, in protesting to Bush.

    I have very few quarrels with Senator Obama, but he has put his foot in it, with his belligerence toward the Taliban and al-Qaeda. (I grew up in Lower Manhattan, and have no love for al-Qaeda. I love the pursuit of unwinnable wars, even less. I am a Viet Nam baby. Wars of attrition can not be 'won', and that is how the Afghanis fight).

    I have been listening to, and watching, and reading, everything that has come from the candidates, and the White House, since January. To my disgust, not one candidate, from either Party, ever, in all that time, made any mention of all the other countries, whose sons and daughters are killing and dying in your wars.

    Nobody has ever said 'thank you'.

    Everyone fawned over, bragged about, cried about, and praised the US military, and their families.

    I know the USA thinks it's the centre of the world. I grew up in NYC, which is!! ;-)

    I know most people in the USA don't care about Iraqi or Afghani, Pakistani, or Syrian lives... :-(

    But really, is a dead Canadian field-medic, or a dead British Lieutenant, or a dead Japanese infantryman worth LESS than a dead American serviceperson?? I certainly feels like it...

    Not so much as 'thank you'?

    Why are we Coalition members spending money we could be using for our schools and hospitals, and rebuilding our economies, on sending our kids to hell, to be traumatised, maimed, or dead, with no word of thanks, when the wars are yours?

    You want to play 'USA FIRST'? Isn't it nice for you, that we don't put ourselves above our allies? Countries that do that, and people who do that, don't deserve allies, and honestly, don't keep allies.

    Our economy is so dire, that I think we ought to walk out of Iraq, at minimum. Sadly, even active combat duty is a job... and jobs are scarce.

    President-elect Obama needs to sort out that war, and it wouldn't hurt for him to pay his respects, to the war-dead, and wounded, in the many countries who have been fighting alongside the USA.

    You Americans could try to remember that we're haemorrhaging money, too, and we love our kids, and our countries, and don't fancy being invisible servants to the USA!

    It grows wearisome.

    November 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  154. Gene

    Improving the infrastructure throughout the country to allow manufacturers to relocate operations to areas of the country where the cost of living is lower should eliminate much of the outsourcing of the manufacturing and service sectors of the country. It should not constrain outsourcing to countries overseas completely, allowing manufacturers to remain competitive in the global marketplace, but it needs to be handled fairly using regulations which currently do not exist. There needs to be some sense of balance in the world economies in relation to outsourcing practices. Thus, outsourcing probably needs to be regulated globally in the same way that tarifs are used to assure fair trade levels among the various countries of the world. Tax breaks to companies who invest in keeping jobs here and dynamically controlled reverse tarifs to trottle outsourcing might be a solution.

    November 7, 2008 at 4:28 am |
  155. Isolese

    I believe that to get us out of this financial crisis, Mr. Obama needs to form a team of the world's leading economists, break them down into two or three teams, lock them up in a room and give them an ultimatum to come up with the fastest and more effective way to deal with this crisis. He can then review their proposals and choose the best of the three or combine them. Then he needs to start acting immediately. I would also advise him to do the same with dealing with foreign policy and terrorism.

    November 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  156. Eric Johnson City,TN

    One major move i think would be a real boost to our economy, would be to pass the Fairtax into law, http://www.fairtax.org. It would give stability to a shrinking economy. It would bring offshore business to the U.S. Common working people would have more money to take home from there pay checks, therefor preventing anymore forclosures. The government would still get there money too, but would have to live on a budget just like we do. The people of this country would be empowered again. It's a no brainer bt yet nobody wants to talk about it or even give it a second thought. Ireland has a similar tax code, and they are really a thriving economy. Don't be put off anymore by stupidity in our leadership. Go to the website and sign the petition to congress to get the bill to the congress,house,and senate. We really need this.
    Sincerely

    November 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  157. Lanre Bayo Oloro

    America should enlighten their citizens on the benefit of the government bail out. A full minute by minute advert should be aired on CNN for example and the bail out should be a massive one, where the major companies will be boosted by the government and made to pay back the funds in huge taxes which will not be immediate. This is to enable the companies balance properly then those who have lost their jobs should be called back, don't forget to make all this steps public in other to boost the confidence that people have in America once again as all this is happening because of panic and lack of interest for the U.S. Capitalize on Obama being a black man and a democrat and make it the centre of discussion to show how considerate and tolerating America is and for God sake make sure you work on your image cos that's all you need. We love you America for Voting a Brother and you can be sure Africa is with you now.

    Lanre Bayo Oloro.
    Nigeria.

    November 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  158. Joseph van Eijndhoven

    Obviously today’s problems are the credit crisis, the budget deficit, the country’s total debt of over $10 trillion and the looming recession which is mainly due to the collapse of the housing market which in turn affects consumer spending, the main force behind the US economy.

    The single most important action the president can take, and which has a positive impact on all of these problems, is investment in “green economics”, both direct and indirect. Loans should be made available to individuals to “go green” and insulate their homes and businesses, buy US produced solar panels, windmills, hybrid cars, etc. Businesses should be able to access loans to invest in “green economics” to produce these “green products” cheaply and on a huge scale to answer the demand created by the loans available to business and individuals to buy these products. In areas where the market has no interest to invest, the government should invest directly and later sell off these investments once the industry is viable.

    These three avenues will create jobs and consumer spending (in green economics) which will subsequently stabilize the housing market and the deficit. We will see economic growth, “green investments” and “green consumption”. It will allow the US to take a commanding lead in THE most important economic markets of the future and will make it possible to get rid of the crippling federal debt. Not by raising taxes but by raising the tax base.
    President Obama can take comfort from recent history. These policies have been effective before and they will prove to be effective again.

    November 7, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  159. Canadian mom

    I'm not a financial expert, but here's a crazy idea:

    What if the car industry was given the money to develop cheaper and better hybrid/environmentally friendly cars to offset this years loss in sales, and help save jobs?

    Would grants to send people back to school and rethink the way things are done be more effective in making positive change than a complete bail out?

    p.s. A big thank you to usps click and ship for being the most cost effective way to ship to Canada/internationally. This year I have been able to spend a lot more of my money in the states because of the amount the save me on shipping.

    November 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  160. crystal jackson

    The joblessness rate is appauling but we (the taxpayers), do not need to bail out the big 3. If we use potential bail out money as an incentive for the auto companies to produce more energy efficient automobiles it would spark growth on a variety of fronts. A hand out is not the answer.

    November 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  161. Horace Bell in AZ

    You talk a lot about resumes,401ks, ect. Most people in AZ cannot even find a part time job. My son and fam. had to move in with me, I'm a disabled vet with a fixed income, and every year it gets smaller and smaller, the cola ant enough to cover the cola. My sons lady is a master chef, my son is a chef/computer geek/ construction worker and still can't find jobs thanks to bush and mc cain. Unemployment here is ridiculous half the time nobody qualifies because of right to work crap. Your talking 401k severence pay and health insurance, this stuff does not exist here. If you want a harsh reality come to the southwest. thanks for your time..

    November 7, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  162. mary

    We are bailing out Ford Motor here in the states and they chose TODAY to announce a new manufacturing plant in Russia because the Russians market is growing for cheap, well made cars! Well, there are a lot of us in the United States who would like to purchase a well made, cheap car. Check story in todays issue of Manufacturing News.

    Chances are Ford's new found money from we taxpayers will be used to help build this plant. Ford is broke? Doesn't sound like they are "broke"

    November 7, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  163. Raymond

    Barack Obama the energy future of this world

    YOU THINK WITH THIS NO ONE WOULD WORK ! WRONG
    THE MASCHINE WORK FORK THE PEOPLE SO IF YOU
    CAN OPERATE THE MASCHINE YOU HAVE WORK AND
    WITH NO WORK YOU HAVE THE MASCHINE IT'S WORKING
    FOR YOU CHANCE FOR CHANGE A GLOBAL CRISIS NEEDS
    A GLOBAL SOLUTION

    A global crisis
    needs a global solution why their has to be rich why has their to be poor people ? Because economy needs money with much to les money you will be poor. So why not has their to be money for all, not only for employes but although for unemployed and people who lives in poverty. We all need money or we all need no economy. The solution is money for all and the shops where you can

    spend this money, i will bring it up to you GoogLe RTLive.

    If you like to donate this vision idea please go to:
    http://www.everyoneweb.com/RTLive/

    America has made a change election 200

    November 7, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  164. joan wilkinson

    Lead by example.

    Is it necessary to have this lavish Inaugural Ball, which ultimately uses tax payer's money? It would be wonderful to witness this life changing experience for the USA, but under the circumstances, surely an indulgent "party" is not the right time now.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  165. Emil Youkhana

    I think everyone and there mother will have an opinion about this and about President Obama now that we are all believers. But the president will hold true to taxing all the rich and it will work and he will have lots of supporters that will get us moving. And he will single handedly create litterally hundreds of thousands of jobs soon from building infrastructure and building new technoledgies for power. He promised and if he keeps his promise than succes is garaunteed on the simple strength that he has all the tools at his disposal and he was once poor he will better financially manage the richest country in the world.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  166. Stefan, Cologne, Germany

    Millions and millions of people in the industrial countries have to do things: Think about their consumption behavoir – do you need a new car every tow years, financed on loan, a tv almost bigger then the wall in the living room, Nikes for 200$ ...? A little bit of modesty all over the place. Maybe it could have some inpact, even on the boardroom floors of the economic global players, hedgefonds, banks, the share markets around the world. I don't know? Quite idealistic, off course.

    Barrak Obama? Sorry, i don't understand economy, so I can't give an particular advice. But I think he needs a lot of good advicers, people who know the details and willing to change (oh, there it is) minds.

    Cheers
    Stefan

    November 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  167. P. Sariz

    Obama's Council on Foreign Relations Crew.
    Out with the old regime, in with the new regime.
    by Steve Watson
    Infowars.net
    Friday Nov.7 2008

    Meet some of president elect Obama's leading foreign and domestic policy advisors and likely administration members, every one of them a prominent member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
    Will these People bring about 'change' or will they continue to hold up the same entrenched system forged by the corporate elite for decades?

    more@
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/obamas-council-on-foreign-relations-crew.html

    November 7, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  168. P. Sariz

    Oops correction: "Out with the old regime, in with the old regime."

    November 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  169. James MacDonald

    Put the U.S. back to work, reduce pollution, electrical costs and save tax money!

    Make interest free loans available to millions of school districts to install solar cells. Districts to PAY BACK the loans with the money they save in energy cost. This will put the U.S. back to work, reduce energy cost, pollution, reduce the need for peaker power plants, make the power grind more efficient and SAVE tax money in the long run.
    Jim MacDonald, Pittsburg, Ca.

    November 8, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  170. KanKan

    President Elect Obama in my opinion needs to focus on keep Americans safe from foreign and domestic dangers, risks, and attacks. But most importantly, he needs to promote value-add jobs through his policies to public appearances, and support American ppl who are in the position to lead American industries to provide the means for Americans to prosper.

    We must not forget that the current president and administration has been downplaying their negative appeal to the public by staying out of the public eye and being less than transparent to the American ppl. This lack of transparency and lack of appeal to the general public has been their demise. I think the key factor that I hope the new administration can learn and improve is the image of the White House, not as a secretive, fearful, and less than honest political entity, but as an office of outstanding American leadership and value-adding global impact.

    Policies that increase jobs for Americans to support infrastructure and industries that have traditionally produced corporate leadership and leaders who have created jobs for Americans, not outsourcing big ticket jobs oversees to reduce overhead costs, is one of the keys to the next White House administration. It is too bad the current one doesn't act on this, even though it is stated that they know this.

    November 8, 2008 at 12:25 am |
  171. David Martin

    Too many of Obama's team were deeply implicated in creating the mess the US is in.
    Joe Biden, for instance, is closely associated with credit card companies charging rapacious rates of interest.
    How interested will he be in moving away from excessive credit?
    He has no-one such as Roubini, who predicted the collapse, but many investment bankers such as Emmanuel who will have the interests of fellow members of the elite closest to heart rather than the taxpayer.
    Paulson in his function as unelected Czar continues to pump money to his cronies.
    The gutting of the US by gangster capitalists continues apace.

    November 8, 2008 at 8:56 am |
  172. man

    very simple
    1. stop the wars and let the countries solve their problems means stop policing the world when own house is being demolished
    2. stop the illegal immigrants from working on low salaries but instead let small businesses employ american citizens on same small salaries without paying any taxes. this way the employment rate will rise and people will have money to spend.
    3. stop running of vehicles in orderly manner so that peopl cut thee start using public transport thus saving billions of dollars worth oil. stop private vehicles totally on weekends and even and odd number system on weekdays
    4.cut the un necessary govt. spendings immediately
    5. halt the economy for 90 days after all the above steps means moratorium on all the loans and advances to all the citizens across the board.

    i have more but for the time being this is enough

    November 8, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  173. tanboontee

    With hardly any sophisticated understanding of the salient features of economics, Obama could do little to subdue the financial horror.

    Given time and the right advice from hispanel of economists, he may be able to reverse the trend. But that would not be likely to happen in 2009.

    If the burning economic problem is not settled by 2011 or earlier, his political career could well be at stake.
    (Tan Boon Tee)

    November 9, 2008 at 6:13 am |
  174. Captain Bob

    There are approx' 27 million people in Afghanistan and 29 million people in Iraq. Every one of these citizens would be required to register and provide evidence of their national citizenship of the respective countries. The US government could set aside one million $US War Script, negotiable only in the respective country of issue for food and materials issued to each man woman and child in these countries and make payments to them every 3 months over a period of ten years. The citizens would be required to pay tax on this income at a rate of 30% providing the basis of the countries cash flow income plus their current tax on business and employment income. This entitlement would then motivate these citizens to get off their backsides and establish good government and fight the Taliban and other enemies of their own respective country. If they do not then they loose their one opportunity to a life of wealth and prosperity. It’s their choice. Setting these people up for the rest of their lives as wealthy families.
    Particularly as many families have 4 to 6 children and their elders live with them. Each family would also have to adopt one war orphan and look after the countries war children with this added wealth.
    Total cost to US 56 million over ten years. The US could then pack up and bring their entire troops home.

    November 9, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  175. Nate W

    Dont give billions to banks which caused allot of todays economic problems. Give the money to ( say 200,000) household's which will inturn cause people to pay off there debt , getting their house out of forclouser. People will then spend causing an up lift in the economy and also may help create jobs or save those in trouble.

    How many people would pay off debt and then go out and purchase new vehicles , go on vacation , buy that special item that they cant at this time.

    Isnt giving the money to the consumers better than giving it to banks to sit on and do nothing?

    November 10, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  176. Frank

    Very simple wipe all dept . Dont make dept.If there is no dept then the nation can start fresh its not new idea it has been done before it was done with the nation of Isreal way back in its past and it worked then.

    November 11, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  177. Julie Rainwater

    When you look at the banking industry bailout, the American people felt it would be a good investment because it seemed it would help us right away. Instead, life went on as normal for bankers and AIG. They never had to feel the pain that we have been feeling for so long now. I think they took advantage of the hopes of the American people and the intention of Congress to save our economy. Now it seems like the Bush Administration is going to give us one last shot before they leave. The auto industry, domestic, is trying to survive among fierce competition with foreign automakers. GM, Ford and Chrysler are being punished for doing the right thing by their long time employees. It now seems unpopular to have high safety standards, good working environments, and a peace of mind for retirees. I am a GM autoworker in Michigan who has been there for 23 years, and we have done all we can do to improve productivity, quality, and safe working practices. Our Union has been behind GM in these improvements for many years, and our agreements have been groundbreaking. If the Bush Administration can't see past these achievements, then they are out of touch with reality. If GM does fail and all the hard work we have done together is nothing buy history, it will be an American failure that will be lamented for years. I guess Toyota should be applauded. The business plan they have in this country is one of no retirement plan and minimal health care for their workers. They will survive, but who will buy their cars? Thank you, Julie

    November 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  178. james

    The Amercan people have shown that we still trust our system of gov. It's time for the gov to trust us. Give a real stimulas package to amercan people if given a choice we do the right thing.Ask us to spend the $$$ on a new car we will If we are behind on a mortgage we will pay it .Send all poeple atleast 10,000 call it a restart fund people will spend it the right way, if the new gov just asked us. If Pres Bush wanted to save face with the American poeple he should pass a stimulas that would really help the economy

    November 12, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  179. Kyle P

    Note: I have a lack of knowledge in economics. Also, this is only my purposed solutions to the economic situation (meaning this is strictly business).

    Throwing money around is like putting a band aid on an infection.

    Issues to focus on: Iraq war, housing market, auto industry, and taxes.

    The Iraq War needs to end efficiently. This means keeping in mind that these troops will be coming back with benefits and expectations to “return to normal.” The ultimate result is to reduce expenses on the American economy and hopefully this will help us on our tax situation discussed below (and pay for those benefits).

    The housing market is an issue that should be evaluated closely but will not produce results in the near future. Most people are certain that tackling the foreclosure and large debt issue in the housing market will revive the majority of the ailing economy. I disagree. Understand that this is not an investment of any kind…this is a charity case. Only people that have been unfairly treated by lenders should see aid and even returns after this era. Still, this doesn’t solve the issue. I would like to agree with Tom’s comment on November 2. If you intend to make a resolve in the housing market, make a change in the housing market. There are too many unaffordable homes and lenders will lose even more money if there isn’t a change. Reevaluate the “actual” value of the home based on utility and not “market” value. Not everyone can afford a Ferrari when all they need is a Station Wagon.

    Auto industry is a place I am compassionate towards, they just have it wrong. There are too many jobs to be lost if the auto makers collapse. Ultimately this sector says to me, too many unemployed equals bad for the economy…that’s a no brainer. At this point (this applies for all commercial businesses) it’s time to follow the steps for “damage control” and not hope for a fluffy pillow handed out by a smiling Uncle Sam…even when it is. My thoughts are to suck it up and take a shot to the gut. I would consider an almost communist establishment of business until you get back on your feet. Even out the pay across the board from the lowest on the totem pole to the highest. Cut the fat on some high expense benefits that aren’t critical. Lastly, cut production rates and reevaluate your service or product and just do an overhaul on everything that doesn’t help. Start with the bare minimums and focus on increasing demand. Today’s dealers have way too many freaking cars (my guess is mostly because they are different colors or they aren’t making cars to today’s standards…besides people can’t even buy them at this time).

    Taxes…face it…we aren’t going to make them lower for 95% of the working class. Eventually this massive spending is going to show up whether it is now or a few years from now. So suck it up and if you want your dollar to still be worth something then you’ll be happy to not take a tax cut.

    November 13, 2008 at 2:09 am |
  180. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq

    Obama has the potential to help the country (USA) dig out of the economic crisis by pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and by helping resolve Muslims related issues like Palestine and Kashmir. He also has to bring back the production / manufacturing industry from countries like China by moving away from free trade aggreements.

    November 13, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  181. Alfred.Jr Arinze

    Management, Strategic Planning to rebuild it economy, & macroeconomic measures ...

    Japan’s exports up 8.1% in July; China imports more from Japan than the US for the first time since WW2....
    During July, the value of imports jumped 18.2% to 7.54 trillion yen, while exports rose 8.1% to 7.63 trillion yen.
    According to data released on august 2008 by the Ministry of Finance, Japan’s trade surplus shrank by 87% in July, to 91.1 billion yen, as slower exports of cars, auto parts and electronics led to a 19.0% fall in Japan’s trade surplus with the United States. The overall trade surplus has now fallen for five straight months, while the surplus with the United States fell for the eleventh consecutive month.

    China is the fifth biggest economy in the world.
    country’s medium-term development goal is to achieve sustainable growth that is balanced and equitable to the society.
    American has to reducing the budget deficit. Treasury bonds will be used to support rural and agricultural development, social development, and ecological and environmental protection, which are key areas in the Government’s development agenda. Various measures are proposed, including abolishing agricultural taxes, extending social protection to migrant workers, and reducing the cost burden of compulsory education for children in poor regions.
    Maintaining the desired rural income growth, creating enough jobs to absorb the surplus rural labor and workers from defunct state-owned enterprises.
    Encouraging the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises,speeding up banking reforms
    enhancing energy conservation,
    The U.S. manufacturing decline since 2001,imports from China increased by 70 percent.

    The $700b bailout is like borrowing depth to pay another is like digging a hole to fill another. To solve a problem genuenely, you have to understand the cause, and solve it from the grass root.
    You need to check U.S account at the WTO since 2001. See the raise of U.S economy in 1940s-1950s.
    The source of these problem is not unrefunded morgage loans.

    It is war against Terrorist, 2001, trillion of $ has been dashed out. Deregulation systems,slack in manufacturing, and mismanagement.
    Take it or leave it, never in history has any nation that being on war doesn't suffer the blow of economy instarbility. No peace, No security, No progress. The Economy is one body, when one part is affected the rest feels the pain. This is no time for war and conflict, is time to rebuild American enconomy, first they have to relink there trade just like Bill Clinton did, a business you trade with China with smile and handshakes.
    Diplomacy will play a major role in Obama's Adiministration, STop the war in Iraq, and use those funds to restrenghten local companies, and small business.

    November 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  182. david lulasa

    by doing away with a reduction of nuclear warheads treaty with russia,the govt will have dug itself out of negative perceptions that would have hurt it economically,technologically,psychologically etc.

    tambua,hamisi,kenya.

    November 14, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  183. pere

    Take all the oil for the west as bush was going to do, before it's too late. Developing nations will waste the remainig oil, we must invest it, not waste it, for the energetic transition from fossil to solar. Take the african desert too as it's rich in solar. Then give a fair share of energy to the developing nations so they can share the wealth with us. Otherwise the world will step back 4 centuries and never recover.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  184. Izi Bleson (UK)

    The President elect should concentrate on the American economy first. If he rushes into focusing on the world economy, he would end up jack of all trade and master of none. American economy needs to be strong before it could think of restoring other economies. Other would leaders should initiate programmes that would restore their own economies.

    November 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  185. Hanief Edwards

    Instead of handing over billions to the auto industry, it would make more sense to just go out and buy domestic cars. That way taxpayers would at least get something for their money.

    November 14, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  186. Shannon

    This goes back a few years and I am sure it dates me, but back in the early 80's there was a tax deduction for credit card interest paid. If I remember correctly, this was form the Reaganomic days. But given light on today's consumer credit crunch and the banks tight fisted policy, this might be worth a look see for a few years to help the consumer and give them some time to pay down some debt and maybe give a little confidence back to the consumer to start spending again. Trust me, the small guys out here, me included, need something to get these shoppers to open their wallets. Have not heard anything yet regarding bringing back this tax deduction but this could be a small step to help the consumer without the huge cash payout the fed seems to be intent on dishing out repeatedly. I know this would have a tax burden spread out over a few years but at least they would generate some revenue from sales, production, payroll, etc.... down the line.

    November 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  187. Damon Williams

    He should put a national resume database in place to fight discrimination,illegal alien hiring,and hold more businesses accountable for the economy's collapse.This will ensure all Americans a fair chance at a job.Every employer should be made to contact each applicant not hired by email,mail or phone call,detailing the reason they didn't hire them.They should also have to enter their employees' resumes into this database for cross-referencing,for any applicants who feel they've been discriminantly not given a job.They need to face one main factor in the money loss,which is illegal alien employment,and those dollars going back to whatever country.Those were American dollars sent that should've stayed and been spent.

    November 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  188. April in Northern New York

    I'm just your average 30 year old single mother of two with a fairly decent job...not brilliant by any means and quite honestly, cheated my way through macroeconomics in high school. Up until this point, I have not really stated my opinion because I know that I do not have a great deal of knowledge about political and economic situations. Until NOW.

    I am honestly frustrated when I repeatedly hear about how we, the American people, should bail out these failing companies. My first issue is, who is bailing us out while we are bailing them? I don't know about anyone else, but I have had to learn the hard way, without a bail out, how to conserve this last year...Why should I be the one to back those big businesses? When I needed a new car a couple years ago, there wasn't an exec from GM feeling sorry for me that I was in a lousy situation, broke and trying to get the most bang for my buck. I don't care how not helping these companies will affect me. I would rather SUFFER with that consequence than continue to stay silent while MY government is loaning money to companies that should have been more responsible.

    In my place of employment, if I make a mistake, I AM HELD RESPONSIBLE. Interestingly, I am a teacher, and if my students make a mistake I hold THEM RESPONSIBLE... Let's let these companies be help responsible for not making better choices. I think it's the government's job to help the people who lose their jobs when and if these companies fail.

    Secondly, when will it end? If, as a teacher, I allow one student to go to his locker during a time when he really doesn't need to, once all the other students discover this, then they feel they should get the same privelege. What other companies will piggyback?

    There has to be a better way.

    November 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  189. Chris

    I certainly don't think the solution is placing additional burdens on those of us who work hard. I'm a single parent who does not get public assistance or child support. I work very hard including on major holidays. Should I really support the idea of bailing out greerdy short-sighted companies and their employees who enjoy much better benefits than I do? Or spoiled arrogant wall street bankers who are going to walk away with a fortune. I suspect our government is gong to waste this money just as they have in the past.

    November 16, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  190. Chris

    This government has a track record of wasting billions. Should I be happy with the idea of baiing out greedy short-sighted execs who enjoy muc h better pay and benefits than I do? When I'm away from my children on the major holidays working should I be please to know Wall street gluttons and the big three employees are enjoying lavish vacations with pay?

    November 16, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  191. dskinnison

    #1-Get rid of Sec. of Treasury Paulson. He is digging us a deeper whole every minute he remains in this position.
    Barrack Obama must surround himself, as it appears he has done, by the brightest minds on economic issues, regardless of their partisonship. Each side has something to contribute. If they are going to bailout the Big 3, which they obviously are, make absolutely sure the money will go tword new technology, it's there and we all know it, but because they are in bed with the oil companies, they do not want to produce the cars that can run on alternative fuels. Don't give them a choice. Have them remove the large gas guzzlers and recycle them into small, fuel efficient cars. For billions of dollars, they should manufacture trycycles if that what the people need. And they must organize, and for once, be pushed into moving in the right direction, or they will be knocking on the door again, real soon.

    November 17, 2008 at 6:06 am |
  192. Claude Arpin

    there seems to be too much loom and gloom about the current economic crisis. People forget that the USA is a power house of innovation that fuels most of the prosperity around the world, Who invented the transistor or the Internet?
    Her is a suggestion to create greater wealth than the Internet revolution did:
    Create the e-net or electric net. The Internet created an exchange medium for information, the e-net can create a national energy exchange network where the same innovative forces that shaped the Internet can work to create new wealth, new sources of energy, new opportunities. The technology is available, just turn on your imagination and let the good time roll.

    Claude

    November 22, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  193. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    Considering how old this posting is, and how many comments are attached, I doubt anyone will see this... which may be just as well, as gloating is unladylike.

    :-D GLOAT :-D

    On 4th November, I said, in this selfsame thread:

    I believe, within six months, that an Obama Administration could, with the help of Congress and the States, create a vast number of jobs in the construction and engineering, mining and manufacturing sectors, simply by making necessary repairs on the infrastructure of the United States, from the Federal level (Amtrak railway lines, Interstate Highways, dams, some bridges, many breakwaters and levees, anything to do with the US Postal Service), to the Municipal level (filling potholes, recycling and composting local rubbish, repairing local public buildings, improving/upgrading local departments of Motor Vehicles registration, clinics, Sheriffs’ Departmments) — and everything in between.

    I also said a good deal more.

    Today, President-Elect Barack-Obama announced that this is precisely what he is going to do :-D

    :-D You heard it here, first! :-D

    Wow... that was so unladylike, I may just need a shave! It's just... I was right! I'm rather chuffed about that, all things considered...

    No, I may not understand the intricacies of 'deleveraging'. Actually, there's no 'may' about it, I don't understand 'em.

    I do know US sociology. I lived there for forty flippin' years, and I only did a BA in sociology, because that's how my brain works. It was: 'You're joking! There's a discipline for how I think naturally?' Where do I sign up?

    So, for all the people who are not going to see this... including some smart-alec (sorry for the Americanism, but I don't know the polite Brit version for that particular epithet), who made a cryptic remark about Barack Obama being 'our Mr Frodo' - whatever that meant - the rest of you blighters all got it wrong. I didn't.

    Raising a toast (all right, it's tea... it's the thought that counts) to the oh-so-charming Mr Hodson, in the event he should see this... :-D

    No, sir, there is no shortage of jobs, in the States.

    I feel like a cross between a lottery-winner, and the Cheshire Cat! (It's the lottery-win that's invisible... no surprise there.) :-D gloat!

    November 22, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  194. Lauro Silva - Brazil

    Too many serious questions awaiting urgent decisions. In spite of the urgency any question must have second thoughts about so that the best decision be chosen among others and also because haste makes waste. For politicians, Dems or Reps, nothing is more important than politics itself not to mention that Republicans are now eager to get after Mr. Obama. On second thought, the freezing of pays and Guantamano prison closing should not have been decided on the first day in office but a bit further.So far, we have been noticing that bailouts for banks etc have not been so effective as they were expected to be remaining the question: are the bailouts still going to happen? As yet the governments everywhere the world didn´t find an effective way to face the mess but throwing a lot of money , perhaps, at wrong baskets.

    January 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
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