President Obama to hold prime time address on economy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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President Obama to hold prime time address on economy

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KHQ Local News at 5 will not be seen Tuesday night to accommodate President Obama's address.

WASHINGTON. - Tuesday night, President Obama is expected to hold a news conference at the White House, the second of his presidency. It comes a day after rolling out details of a plan to help banks shed those toxic assets from their balance sheets.

The president called the plan a 'no cure-all for the economy,' and you can expect that cautious tone Tuesday night after a roller coaster week, between the bonus explosion and yesterday's huge market rally.

Investors loved the plan and the Dow's close proved it, up almost 500 points. Why? They see banks soon more free to lend to car buyers, home buyers, and college students; money flowing again.

President Obama is hopeful saying, "we believe that this is one more element that is going to be absolutely critical in getting credit flowing again."

The bet is that private investors will buy off banks' toxic assets, all tied up in bad mortgage loans, if tax dollars bear most of the risk.

Harvard University Professor Kenneth Rogoff said "the reason the private sector is going in is they're exposing themselves relatively minimally whereas the government is taking the risk of the really deep losses so the tax payer is being very exposed."

TTuesday night the president takes his overall approach to the American people in a prime time address. The goal? To keep bits of criticism from snowballing.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said "to me, the whole process has been so mishandled and bungled"

One leading GOP critic of the president's budget is encouraged, and talks taxpayer upside.

New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg said "the taxpayers are going to make some money here too if it works correctly."

There's also AIG news. New York's attorney general said nine of the ten AIG execs who got big bonuses have agreed to return them. In all $50 million has been pledged back, almost a third of the bonus total.

That will take some pressure off the treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman when they testify in Washington, DC today. They plan to call for new government power to seize firms like AIG, so the whole economy's not vulnerable to their collapse.

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