3 Surprising Ways Obama Is Fixing the Economy

Jun 13, 2011, 4:59 am EDT
3 Surprising Ways Obama Is Fixing the Economy

Last Wednesday, I was part of a group of 25 financial journalists that took part in the White House’s first-ever Personal Finance Online summit. We asked dozens of questions to top ranking economic officials – and had the privilege of a brief Q&A with President Barack Obama himself.

There are many reasons to be skeptical of the Obama Administration. I’ve pieced together the most compelling reasons to worry our leaders aren’t doing enough in my recent article about ways Obama is inspiring panic, not confidence. But in the effort of balance, I have to share some of the biggest reasons for optimism that I found over the course of last week’s White House summit.

So, here is the other side of the story based on my notes from interviews with some of the Obama administration’s top economic officials: Read 

3 Reasons to Panic Over Obama’s Economic Plan

Jun 13, 2011, 3:41 am EDT
3 Reasons to Panic Over Obama’s Economic Plan

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a finance roundtable at the White House and the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with the highest-ranking economic officials in the administration – including President Obama himself.

I asked for your questions, and through dozens of emails and even more comments in the forums of InvestorPlace.com, you gave me the ammunition for some hard questions for Obama and his team.

There were a number of good questions asked of White House officials at last week’s summit. And while the answers were often well-crafted and non-controversial, a closer read of the responses reveals some important insight into what Obama’s economic team is doing to fix things right now. Read 

3 Reasons Elizabeth Warren Could Be Good for Banks

Jun 9, 2011, 1:24 pm EDT

As I continue digging into my notes from the Personal Finance Online Summit at the White House on Wednesday, there’s plenty of “fluff” from top Obama Administration officials just trying to get a political point across.

But there was a great deal of substance, too – and one of the things I am increasingly impressed with was the face time I got with Elizabeth Warren, expected to be the first director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

I know a lot of fiscal conservatives are skeptical of government regulations, and many more are skeptical of “nanny state” interference under the guise of helping consumers. But after meeting with Warren, I believe she has the best interests of the economy at heart and isn’t just creating another bureaucratic octopus meant to mire businesses in more meaningless regulation. Read 

7 High-Growth Sectors the White House is Watching

Jun 9, 2011, 11:48 am EDT
7 High-Growth Sectors the White House is Watching

I was one of two dozen financial journalists attending the White House’s first-ever Personal Finance Online Summit on Wednesday. Top Obama administration officials — including the President — gave their stump speeches on economic policies and job creation methods. (Read my article about financial tips from the president himself).

While there was admittedly plenty of politicking, a few business sectors stood out as clear winners based on White House policies and the overall direction of the American economy in the next few years. While no specific companies were named – in fact, some leaders in these industries may not even exist next year – it was clear these seven sectors are the ones that the Obama administration thinks will drive the economy forward:

Digital healthcare: Forget about your feelings over recent health care legislation or efforts to overturn the law. According to Aneesh Chopra, the administration’s chief technology officer, the real revolution in healthcare is going to happen due to new communication techniques that allow for secure sharing of digital medical records and remote doctor’s appointments. Chopra credits the “liberation of data” to creating a whole new industry regarding IT-focused medical services. Read 

Maybe Bernanke Should Keep His Big Mouth Shut

Jun 8, 2011, 4:00 am EDT

Well, someone sure knows how to throw cold water on a celebration! Stocks were putting on a nice rally Tuesday afternoon, with the Dow up 88 points shortly before 2:30 p.m. EST. But then, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stepped to the podium to deliver his “U.S. Economic Outlook” speech in Atlanta, and the market turned tail, shedding all its gains for the session (and more).

The takeaway from this incident? Maybe Fedheads ought to say less in public (nothing at all, if they can help it). Alan Greenspan, in his glory days, was a master at saying nothing while pretending to say something really profound.

However, Bernanke seems committed to his own version of perestroika, as they used to call it in the Soviet era — and his openness bothered Wall Street today. Specifically, traders fretted because Dr. Ben, after admitting the economy has slowed of late, simply predicted that growth would pick up in the second half of the year. Read 

4 Obama Administration Tips to Achieve Financial Security

Jun 8, 2011, 12:26 am EDT
4 Obama Administration Tips to Achieve Financial Security

I had the honor and privilege of attending the White House’s first ever Personal Finance Online Summit on Wednesday afternoon. The event gave me and two dozen other financial journalists access to top Obama Administration officials – including a brief Q&A with the president himself.

I solicited questions for Obama’s team from InvestorPlace.com readers like you, and was thrilled to see so many suggested questions. You can read a full list of your fellow investors’ concerns here, and I promise I will post more on the event when I have a chance to dig into my notes.

But I wanted to share some general thoughts in my first piece from this summit… namely, lessons you can use as an investor trying to protect your retirement funds. Read 

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