Congress has reached an accord on a $789 billion package of tax cuts and new spending to help get the U.S. economy back on track.
President Barack Obama hailed the deal, saying it will help save or create millions of jobs and “get our economy back on track,” said a Feb. 12 article in Businessworld .
But that optimism came as the economic bad news kept pouring in, including a sharp fall in Chinese imports.
Some 35 percent of the compromise bill provides for tax breaks and the rest in government spending.
Senate Democrats put the jobs figure at 3.5 million, the report said. The package passed on Feb. 11 and was signed by Obama in Denver on Feb. 17.
“…Obama had been pushing Congress to act fast to help reverse the recession he inherited on taking office three weeks ago,” the report said. “U.S. stock markets, hammered the day before by uncertainty over the new administration’s financial recovery effort, reversed losses after (the) news.”
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.64 percent on the news, with other stock indices posting similar gains, later lost.
At the same time, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers grilled bankers on how wisely they have spent taxpayer money already received.
For one, Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup Inc., said he told his board he would take a salary of $1 per year until a return to profitability.
The same scenario unfolded in London, the story said. There, a parliamentary investigation is looking into the integrity of the British banking system, which was partly nationalized in the crisis.
The report also said the Commerce Department noted a worldwide drop in demand for goods, driving U.S. imports and exports down for a fifth straight month in December.
“The clear message is that global trade activity has collapsed, as the world economy sinks deeper into recession,” Nigel Gault, chief US economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. told Reuters.
This article was submitted by Kathleen O’Connor, a contributing writer for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that provides entrepreneurs with the latest industry news and financial advice. Send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.