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Crescenzi: Obama Strikes Policy Themes on Economy, Markets


In President Obama's inauguration speech, key themes were struck with respect to his plans for battling the economic and financial crisis.

In beginning his discussion on the economy, which started about 20% into the speech, Obama reiterated his plans to target the nation's infrastructure, calling for action "bold and swift" and saying that "we will build roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together." Obama also said he will "restore science to its rightful place," and "harness the sun and the winds and the soil."

Obama next referred to the scale of the upcoming fiscal stimulus, saying that those who would question the scale of our ambitions and "suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans" have short memories, a point that underscores his commitment to a large stimulus plan.

Next Obama essentially referred to the TARP, saying that "those who manage the public's dollars will be held to account--to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day," basically telling recipients and would be recipients of tax dollars that there must be greater transparency of the use of the TARP money and that it must be used in a way that boosts economic activity. This is worldwide movement, with nations wanting more concrete evidence that the money given to financial institutions is boosting bank credit.

Finally, Obama alluded to the need for increased regulation of the financial markets, saying that while the power of the markets to "generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched," the financial crisis "has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control."

All in all, Obama sought to cross the ideological divide by embracing ideology from both sides of the aisle, creating an ideology of his own and much needed in these times.

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Tony Crescenzi

Tony Crescenzi is the Chief Bond Market Strategist at Miller Tabak + Co., LLC where he advises many of the nation's top institutional investors on issues related to the bond market, the economy and other macro-related issues. Crescenzi makes regular appearances on financial television stations such as CNBC and Bloomberg, and is frequently quoted across the news media. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, "Investing from the Top Down," "The Strategic Bond Investor," and co-author of the 1200-page book "The Money Market."Crescenzi is a contributor to"