Obama holds key economy talks

US president-elect is also due to hold first news conference since Tuesday’s victory.

Emanuel is set to be Obama's White Housechief of staff [GALLO/GETTY]
Emanuel is set to be Obama's White Housechief of staff [GALLO/GETTY]

And there were also reports that Obama was set to appoint David Axelrod, the chief strategist of his election campaign team, as a senior adviser.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds says that the meeting is aimed at showing he is “on the case” over the financial crisis.

‘”This way he aims to show he can have the effect of calming people down and increasing confidence that he can help people get out of this economic mess,” he says.

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Obama and the vice-president elect, Joe Biden, are holding talks with 17 members of their transition economic advisory board, AP reports, with members including former White House officials and high-ranking executives from companies such as Time Warner, Google and the Hyatt hotel company.

Warren Buffett, the renowned billionaire investor, was also set to be participating via telephone.

“Throughout his campaign the president-elect has been talking about what we need to do,”  Larry Summers, a treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, the former US president, and one of the members of the advisory board, told NBC news.

“We need to put the middle class at the centre of the policy approach in a way that it hasn’t been these last years.”

The meeting comes as the latest evidence emerged on Friday of the US slumping into recession, as the US government reported that the unemployment rate had risen from 6.1 per cent in September to 6.5 per cent in October.

Exit polls conducted with voters after the US election showed that the economy was paramount in voter concerns.

Assembling cabinet

Obama has been meeting privately with his transition team since winning Tuesday’s presidential election, in addition to recieving intelligence briefings, recieving congratulatory calls from world leaders and, most crucially, deciding appointments in his future administration.

In addition to Emanuel’s appointment and reports of Axelrod’s move, there are also reports that Obama was set to appoint Robert Gibbs, a former spokesman for John Kerry, the prior Democratic presidential candidate as the White House press secretary.

Several members of Bill Clinton’s administration are also being mentioned as possible Obama cabinet members, including the head of Obama’s transitional team, John Podesta, who is a former senior aide to Clinton.

After Friday’s meetings, Obama and his wife, Michelle, are scheduled to visit the White House on Monday at the invitation of George Bush, the US president.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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