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Political Economy: January 16, 2011 - January 22, 2011

Is GE's Jeffrey Immelt the right choice to head the new economic advisory council?

Until this week, General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, the successor to the legendary Jack Welch, remained largely under the radar in Washington. While he has served as a an informal adviser to the administration on business issues for years, he had never been a celebrity CEO like Welch. That changed when Immelt's name showed up as being seated at the head table with President Obama and President Hu during the state dinner for the Chinese.Then came Friday's announcement that highly respected former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker would step down from his role advising the administration and that Immelt would head up a new economic advisory council focused on job creation and competitiveness

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 21, 2011; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Add categoryPresident's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, White House  
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Economic agenda: Friday, Jan. 21, 2011

At 1 p.m. -- President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy after touring a General Electric battery plant in Albany accompanied by GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt....

By Mike Shepard  | January 21, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Corporate CEOS dominate White House state dinner with Chinese president

The state dinner Wednesday night for Chinese President Hu Jintao was heavy on corporate executives. Among those in attendance: General Electric Co. chief executive Jeff Immelt. Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer, John Chen, chairman, CEO and president of Sybase. Chen is also the chair of the Committee of 100, the group of influential Chinese-Americans. MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren. The Associated Press reports that "the Las Vegas-based casino company has joint ownership of casino in Macau, the Chinese gambling enclave. MGM Resorts also has deals to build and manage nongambling hotels in China under its hospitality division." Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman. JPMorgan Chase & Co.CEO Jamie Dimon. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. John Thornton, chairman of HSBC Holdings Plc's North American division. American Express CEO Ken Chenault. David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of Carlyle Group. W. James McNerney, CEO of the Boeing Company. Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 20, 2011; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China, Corporations, White House  
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Economic agenda: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases its weekly reading on new jobless claims. At 10 a.m. -- The National Association of Realtors releases its existing-home sales data. Existing home sales are forecasted to have risen in December. Analysts...

By Neil Irwin  | January 20, 2011; 6:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  existing home sales  
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AFL-CIO's Trumka calls for focus on job creation

President Obama should issue a "call to action" to invest in jobs and bring down the nation's chronically high unemployment rate, instead of sparring with Republicans over budget cuts that threaten to further weaken the American economy, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said Wednesday.

By Lori Montgomery  | January 19, 2011; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  *Economic agenda, Unemployment  
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Corporate leaders meet with Obama, Hu on exports

Several of this country's most powerful corporate leaders met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Obama at the White House on Wednesday to discuss increasing U.S. exports to China in order to support more American jobs.

By Jia Lynn Yang  | January 19, 2011; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  China, Corporations, International Economics, Trade, White House  
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China agrees to $45B trade investment, policy changes

China has agreed to $45 billion in trade and investment contracts with U.S. companies and has made a series of other trade-related concessions, a senior White House official said Wednesday.

By Howard Schneider  | January 19, 2011; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  China, International Economics, Trade  
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Economic agenda: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases housing starts, which forecasters expect will show that builders pulled back a bit in December. Analysts are looking for an annual rate of 550,000 housing units started, down 0.9 percent from November....

By Neil Irwin  | January 19, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  housing starts  
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Key study on implementing Volcker Rule released

The nation's most powerful financial regulators published a new blueprint Tuesday for how they will aim to keep banks from engaging in risky, speculative activity.

By Neil Irwin  | January 18, 2011; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve, Financial Stability Oversight Council, Regulation, U.S. Treasury  
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The Year of the T. Rex?

The Obama-Hu summit clearly has the commercial juices flowing, with some major deals already announced in advance of the Chinese President's visit. So what better time to buy a brontosaurus? At least that seems to be the thinking from one aggressive entrepreneur --apparently from China -- who emailed photos of his product line to a Washington Post reporter today in hopes of a "long-term cooperative relation." I personally think the old linotype machine at the Post's entrance is dinopsaur enough. We wouldn't want the metaphors to get out of hand.

By Howard Schneider  | January 18, 2011; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China  
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Congress threatens currency bill as Obama and Hu prepare to meet

While the White House is preparing festivities for Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit this week, Congress has been less welcoming. Lawmakers are seizing on the visit to reraise long-standing concerns about currency manipulation and the impact on U.S. jobs. Some are seeking to sanction China for economic policies they see as unfair or even illegal.Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) have vowed to introduce legislation to address the currency issue.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 18, 2011; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  China, Congress, White House  
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Chinese buying spree in U.S. likely to include billions in power plants, Boeing jets

General Electric Co. on Tuesday disclosed energy, aviation and rail projects with China valued at at least $2.1 billion in sales--the first of what is expected to be a number of megadeals announced during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit in Washington. Similar deals are in the works: Shanghai-based venture with Aviation Industries of China will handle the development and sale of all new integrated avionics systems for the two companies and the Chinese may buy Boeing Co. jets. Also, a Chinese trade mission in Houston signed $600 million in deals with U.S. companies.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 18, 2011; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  China  
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Dueling ads ahead of state visit: Is China a friend or foe?

The Chinese government and the Alliance for American Manufacturing--a District-based lobbying group and thinktank--have launched dueling ad campaigns that aim to shape public opinion on the eve of the state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 18, 2011; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  China, Manufacturing, White House  
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Is China already the world's No. 1 economy?

The Peterson Institute's Arvind Subramanian argues in a paper released last week that when the presidents of China and the United States meet in Washington "neither will likely be aware that, measured in terms of purchasing power, it is Hu Jintao not Barack Obama who represents the world's largest economy." He said that his calculations show that the size of the Chinese economy in 2010 was about $14.8 trillion dollars while that of the U.S. economy was US$14.6 trillion if you account for the different costs of living in the countries.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 18, 2011; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  China  
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