Also in the meantime, Obama will make his debut as president on the world stage next week with calls for global economies to use government spending to jumpstart growth and work on a reshaping of the chaotic financial system.
The U.S. president's popularity will likely elicit a warm greeting Europeans when he travels to London for the summit of the Group of 20 major economies on April 2. His remedies for fixing the world economy could face a chillier reception.
European leaders have made clear they will not heed the U.S. call for deficit spending and may prod the United States to move further and more quickly to tighten financial rules.
China has talked of a possible alternative to the U.S. dollar's status as a global reserve currency, in a signal of weakening confidence in America's economic leadership.
More in the global front, Obama said that many nations, including NATO partners and also countries like Iran and China, have a stake in achieving security in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"From our partners and NATO allies, we seek not simply troops, but rather clearly defined capabilities: supporting the Afghan elections, training Afghan Security Forces, and a greater civilian commitment to the Afghan people," Obama said in a speech outlining a new strategy for Afghanistan.
Additionally, the Obama administration imposed the first increase in fuel efficiency standardsfor passenger cars, requiring model year 2011 vehicles to average 30.2 miles per gallon.
A copy of the fuel efficiency rule obtained by Reuters would require sport utilities, vans, and pickups—the light truck class —to achieve 24.1 mpg.
The standard is estimated to save nearly 900 million gallons of fuel and to cost the industry $1.4 billion, the regulation said.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 66: US Planning Expansion Of Financial Market Oversight (Mar. 26)
Day 65: Geithner: Economic Deterioration Starting to Slow (Mar. 25)
- A panel led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker will study options for U.S. tax reform and report back to Obama by Dec. 4, said the White House budget director. (Full Story)
- Geithner said he will soon outline proposals for new, tougher requirements on major financial firms to protect the financial system and new rules to prevent financial fraud and abuse against consumers and investors. (Full Story)
- The pace of economic deterioration has started to slow down in some areas, Geithner told CNBC. “That’s promising but it’s going to take some time to work through,” he said in a taped interview. “The government is putting enough force on the economy as a whole and into the financial system so that we bring recovery back as soon as possible.” (Full Story)
- The U.S. dollar will be the global reserve currency for a "long, long time,'' said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, reiterating the Obama administration's confidence in the currency. (Full Story)
Day 64: Obama Sees 'Signs of Progress' on Crisis (Mar. 24)
- Obama said he hopes "it doesn't take too long to convince Congress" to approve new authority to oversee big, tottering financial firms. The administration is pushing the idea of an overarching regulator, such as the Federal Reserve, to have the ability to take over nonbank financial entities whose failure could topple the entire banking system. (Full Story)
- Obama will meet with about a dozen top bank chief executives on Friday, including executives from JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, according to sources. (Full Story)
- Obama said he was seeing signs of progress in his drive to lead the United States out of economic crisis as he sought to reassure recession-weary Americans he was on the right track. "We're moving in the right direction," Obama said at his second prime-time White House news conference since taking office on Jan. 20. (Full Story)
- Obama urged fellow G20 leaders to agree immediate action to boost the global economy at a London summit next month. In an article for a German newspaper, Obama called for a deal on quick fiscal stimulus measures at the April 2 meeting which he said could open the way to a global recovery. (Full Story)
Day 63: Geithner: New Plan Will Help Credit Flow (Mar. 23)
- Geithner told CNBC that the government's highly-anticipated plan to deal with troubled mortgage loans and assets is just the latest effort to stem the financial crisis. (Full Story)
- The Treasury revealed details of a highly-anticipated plan to set up public-private investment funds that will buy up to $1 trillion in troubled loans and securities at the heart of the financial crisis. Market reaction was positive with stocks—especially those of financial firms—rising around the globe, while the dollar was stable. (Full Story)
Day 62: Economy to Rebound Within a Year? (Mar. 22)
- Obama said the financial system could still implode if a large bank were to fail, and "big problems" could result if the government does not try to lessen the risk. "I think that systemic risks are still out there," Obama said in an interview on the CBS program "60 Minutes." "If we did nothing you could still have some big problems. There are certain institutions that are so big that if they fail, they bring a lot of other financial institutions down with them." (Full Story)
- The Obama administration is "incredibly confident" the U.S. economy will rebound within a year, a top adviser said before a critical week in efforts to flesh out and sell the president's recovery agenda. (Full Story)
- Geithner is set to reveal details on Monday of a plan to set up public-private investment funds that could buy up to $1 trillion in troubled loans and securities at the heart of the financial crisis. (Full Story)