Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Barack obama's first year: Summing up

The month before Barack Obama took office, the US economy lost more than half a million jobs, 300,000 homes was being foreclosed and the survival of the US banking system was in doubt.
A year later it is fair to say the large picture is a lot rosier. Financial markets have rallied powerfully during Mr Obama's time in office and the biggest banks, at least, have returned to some semblance of stability.
But for numerous millions of Americans, the Obama presidency has, so far, been a time of declining fortune. The rate of job losses has slowed from the terrifying days of winter 2008/9, but it has not upturned. The unemployment rates sit at 10%.
In political terms, the economy is now a actual problem for President Obama. He faces the prospect of having to argue that however awful things are for many voters, without him, they would be even worse. That is always a difficult case to make.


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