The appointment of Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve in New York, who had played an important role in preventing the collapse of the financial system, by steering the bailout of Bear Stearns, AIG and Citigroup, and who was one of Obama's closest adviser at the height of the Wall Street crisis, as Treasury Secretary, coupled with the naming of Lawrence Summers ( Treasury Sect. under Clinton ) as director of the National Economic Council; University of California-Berkeley professor Christiona Romer ( an expert on US economic crises ), as head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Melody Barnes ( vice-president of the liberal think tank, Centre for American Progress ) as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, has sent a clear and strong message to Wall Street. The markets reacted positively, going up 500 points on Friday and 400 points on Monday.
Pres-elect Obama realise that he needed to send a much needed signal, that he is willing and prepared to act decisively, even though he is not as yet sworn in. He has seized the economic initiative with the announcement of his team and his outlining of his goal to create 2.5 million jobs and to spend massively to improve infrastructure, alternative energy technology and tax cuts for the working class ( 95% ). He knows that the window of opportunity is not large and that he has to show that he is completely in charge. So far, so good.
On a less positive note, civil groups are reportiong a rise in hate crimes against ethnic minorities. Hundreds of incidents of racial hatred have been reported according tro the Southern Poverty Law Centre. Far- right groups ( KKK ), are capitalising on rising unemployment and a demographic shift, that could result in making whites a minority by 2050. Pres-elect Obama will have to ensure that the situation does not become untenable. He must act swiftly and must clearly demonstrate that he is listening and doing what is necessary. Time and action are of the essence.
On another note, George W. Bush is leaving a toxic legacy as he prepares to leave office. He is issuing last minute regulations to help out special interests groups, letting truck drivers stay on the road for longer hours, allowing more mine-waste dumping in waterways, and easing limits on pollution from power plants and chemical factories. There is a mandatory 60 days waiting period, after which it will be difficult to change these regulations. Bush is ignoring the will of the voters. They voted for change, but he is leaving them with more of the same. He could not get these measures thtrough Congress, so he has decided to by-pass Congress and reward these polluters. This last-minute legacy is a slap in the face of the people and a reward to the special interests that have controlled his administration