Economic bright spot: consumer spending inches up - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Economic bright spot: consumer spending inches up

WASHINGTON. - It looked more like Wall Street than the White House today.

Some of the nation's biggest bank CEO's were on hand for a sit down with the President.

The group touched on toxic assets, the Administration's housing plan, tighter regulations and executive compensation.

"We want to get our banks back to financial health. We know that we are at the sharp end of the stick n terms of bringing our economy back," said Bob Kelly, CEO of Bank of New York Mellon.

The meeting came as President Obama and the Treasury Secretary plan to buy up bank's toxic assets, while Congress hammers out a bill to beat down Wall Street bonuses.

"The President thinks we should be very cognizant of mistakes made around compensation," said JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

The White House says the meeting today was mostly about working together.

"The President emphasized that Wall Street needs Main Street and Main Street needs Wall Street everybody needs to pitch in. We're all in this together," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The meeting came as Wall Street suffered a bit of a set back, struggling for much of the day and ending the recent rally.

The Dow had been up 21% over the previous 13 days, but the end of the week brought new figures showing a dip in personal income.

Still, the news was not all bad. Consumer spending was up for a second month in a row, though at a much slower rate of growth.

The biggest challenge to the markets may come soon, as first quarter earnings reports trickle in. That's the test, as investors look for any signs that things could finally be turning around.
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