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Obama's economic wizards

Video by Pierre Ludovic VIOLLAT , Mary MAC CARTHY

Text by Mary MAC CARTHY

Latest update : 2009-01-20

A look at Obama's economic team, what it has done even before taking office, and the challenges awaiting them.

On January 10, 2009, Barack Obama said of his plans for tackling the economy: "This is an extraordinary challenge... Which is why I've taken the extraordinary step of working, even before I take office."

Since the day he was elected,  Barack Obama has said the economy will be his top priority.

The first cabinet appointments he announced were the leaders  of his economic dream team.

Timothy Geithner, who will become the new secretary treasury, is the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and has a strong background in saving struggling companies.

Larry Summers was chosen to head the White House National Economic Council. Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, Summers faces the task of finding a strategy to create new jobs.

Obama and his economic advisers are already influencing policy on Capital Hill. In late 2008, they supported Democrats in Congress as they drew up a bail-out plan for the ailing auto industry - a plan rejected by Republican Senators, but pushed through by President Bush.

Obama has now proposed his own stimulus plan of 825 billion dollars, on top of the 700 billion bailout for the financial sector launched by the Bush administration in late 2008.

Date created : 2009-01-20

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