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The First 100 Days

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The first 100 days – it’s kind of like the president’s first date with America and just like any other introduction you only get one chance to make a first impression.

History shows, the 100 days following inauguration can set the tone for an entire term and be a period of sweeping action.

For example, on day 76, Harry S Truman created the United Nations. On day 88, John Kennedy tried to overthrow Castro in the Bay of Pigs and on day 40, George W. Bush announced the largest tax cut for Americans in 20 years.

But the president who made the most of his first three months was inarguably Franklin Delano Roosevelt who took office during the worst of the Great Depression. He passed a series of rapid-fire initiatives and created agencies such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and much more. In fact there were so many bills with acronyms they became known has FDR’s alphabet soup.

And that’s the example President Barack Obama is likely to follow as he acts swiftly and forcefully to create jobs, re-build infrastructure, expand alternative energy, and restore trust in markets.

Some of what the Street expects to see includes:

- Doubling renewable energy production ($8 billion), and making public buildings more energy-efficient ($31 billion).
- Bringing high-speed Internet service to more communities and rural areas ($6 billion).
- Extending health care subsidies for the recently unemployed under the COBRA program, and for former Medicaid recipients under programs such as TMA, or transitional medical assistance ($39 billion).
- Extending supplemental grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ($2.5 billion).

Will Obama’s alphabet soup send the stock market higher?

Maybe not, according to Rob Cox, Breakingviews.Com U.S. editor. He tells Fast Money he’s worried after the Obama team signaled that TARP money is going to be used differently by the new administration.

Cox is referring to an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation in which Lawrence Summers, the oncoming director of the National Economic Council, said banks using government assistance would be "expected to lend above their baseline levels."

Cox tells Fast Money he wants to see, “the banks cleaned up in such a way so that private capital feels emboldened to step in.”

Without that he’s not so sure the stock market will can go up, at all.


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