Can Grassroots Movement that Propelled Obama to Victory Chart a Better Economy?

From Democracy Now!

President-elect Barack Obama is moving swiftly to fill his administration and form his response to the economic crisis. Obama is expected to soon choose his Treasury Secretary and the two names reportedly at the top of the list are Lawrence Summers, who held the post during the Clinton administration and Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

In one of his first orders of public business since the election, Obama has convened an economic advisory board to meet today in Chicago. The group includes billionaire investor Warren Buffett, former presidential Cabinet officials and executives from various corporations including Xerox, Time Warner, Google and the Hyatt hotel company.

This comes as more signs emerge that the nation will be facing a prolonged recession. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits has jumped to 3.8 million – the highest level since 1983. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 has lost 10 percent in the past two days, its worst two-day decline since 1987.

On Monday, Obama is scheduled to meet with President Bush to discuss the global economic crisis and the war in Iraq. Obama has declined to attend the president’s global economic summit meeting on November 15th.

The New York Times reports the Obama camp is feeling pressure from the Bush administration, specifically from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, to “co-own” the bailout program, which remains unpopular among voters. The Treasury has reserved office space, so far unused, for Obama representatives and Paulson has reportedly sought Obama’s advice into the choice of a permanent director of the bailout program.

To talk more about the state of the economy and the economic policies of Barack Obama we are joined by two guests.

Arun Gupta, reporter and editor at The Indypendent newspaper. In September, he organized a large protest on Wall Street opposing the bailout. His latest article is “Now That the Election Is Over, the Fight for Economic Justice Begins!

Robert Kuttner, Journalist and economist. He is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the think tank Demos. His latest book is called Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency. Kuttner’s previous works include The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity.