March 24 President Barack Obama will hold a
prime-time news conference on Tuesday to explain his economic
strategy to a recession-weary public angry over executive
bonuses and concerned about the government's direction.
Here are a few issues he will likely address:
TOXIC DEBT PLAN
The Obama administration hopes to persuade private
investors to buy up to $1 trillion in soured bank assets that
are blocking lending and exacerbating the recession, but
questions remain about how the assets should be priced.
FINANCIAL REGULATORY REFORM
Obama aims to overhaul financial regulations to improve
monitoring and managing financial risk and establish a clear
process for unwinding troubled non-bank financial firms.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to announce
details on Thursday.
Congress is moving to apply punitive taxes to employees of
troubled insurer AIG who received $165 million in bonus pay
after the company received billions in government bailout
money. Obama has said he is angered by the bonuses, but
questions remain about why his administration did not do more
to prevent them from being paid out in the first place.
AUTO INDUSTRY RESCUE
A White House task force is trying to overhaul the troubled
auto industry, but General Motors bondholders have resisted
efforts to reduce the company's debt before a deadline at the
end of the month.
Opinion polls show Obama's approval rating dropping as
public anger mounts over the bank bailout. How concerned is he
about his declining support?
Geithner is under fire for his handling of the economic
crisis and the AIG bonuses. Obama has said several times that
he has complete confidence in Geithner, who is still working
with a skeleton staff.
SELLING THE BUDGET
Obama is facing resistance in Congress to his massive $3.55
trillion budget plan from Republicans and some Democrats who
say it is too costly. Last weekend, he enlisted his network of
grass-roots volunteers to build public support and pressure
Obama has admitted the United States and its allies are not
winning the war in Afghanistan and has ordered a strategy
review that will include an exit plan and a greater emphasis on
At an April 2 meeting in London, Obama and other leaders of
the world's 20 largest economies will discuss how to coordinate
their fiscal and monetary firepower to combat the worst global
recession since the 1930s, as well as ways to regulate the
Obama has made several overtures to Iran, in a sharp
departure from the confrontational approach taken by former
President George W. Bush. Iranian leaders have cautiously
welcomed the Obama administration, but have said they are
waiting for "practical steps," not just talk.
(Compiled by Andy Sullivan; editing by Mohammad Zargham)