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January 12, 2009


Mike Allen, Politico - While warning of tough times ahead, Obama has upped the number of jobs his plan will create twice in three weeks. President-elect Obama raised the jobs forecast for his stimulus plan from 3 million to as many as 4 million on Saturday, upping the ante of his economic blueprint for the second time in three weeks.

The president-elect also rebutted conservative claims that his plans would create new bureaucracies, saying 90 percent of the new jobs would be in the private sector, up from the "more than 80 percent" he claimed last weekend.

Two weekends before he takes the oath of office, Obama also said he now favors a slightly bigger price tag. "We have assumed a package just slightly over the $775 billion currently under discussion," says a 13-page report released Saturday by his transition office. . .

Just three weeks ago, Obama declared a goal of saving or creating 3 million jobs over two years. Now, his new report estimates the dividend from his plan would be 3,675,000 by the end of 2010.

"The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create 3 to 4 million jobs," Obama says in his weekly radio and YouTube address. "Ninety percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector. The remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities."

International Herald Tribune -
China has bought more than $1 trillion in American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home - a shift that could pose some challenges to the U.S. government in the near future but eventually may even produce salutary effects on the world economy. . .

Beijing is seeking to pay for its own $600 billion economic stimulus - just as tax revenue falls sharply as the Chinese economy slows. Regulators have ordered banks to lend more money to small and midsize enterprises, many of which are struggling with slower exports, and Chinese bankers say they are being instructed to lend more to local governments to allow them to build new roads and other projects as part of the stimulus program. . .

In the United States, China's voracious demand for American bonds has helped keep interest rates low for borrowers ranging from the government to home buyers. Reduced Chinese enthusiasm for buying those bonds takes away some of this dampening effect.

But with U.S. interest rates still at very low levels after recent cuts to stimulate the economy, it is quite cheap for the U.S. Treasury to raise capital now. And there seem to be no shortage of buyers for Treasury bonds and other debt instruments: Prices for U.S. debt have soared as yields have declined.


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