Economy

ROUNDUP: Top bankers pledge cooperation with Obama on economy

President Barack ObamaWashington  - Some of the nation's top bank chiefs told President Barack Obama Friday that they would work with him towards the economic recovery, and agreed on the need for an overhaul of financial market regulations.

"Were all in this together," John Stumpf, the head of Wells Fargo & Co, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg financial news service after the meeting. "Were trying to do the right thing for America."

Obama seeks support from bank executives

Obama seeks support from bank executivesWashington - US President Barack Obama was to court support from banking executives later Friday in an effort to transcend the furious standoff between the public and the industry over bailouts and bonuses.

The meeting at the White House was to include chief executive officers Vikram Pandit of Citigroup Inc, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

A total of 15 executives from the nation's largest banks were to join the meeting, Bloomberg financial news service reported.

New Zealand recession continues with fourth-quarter slump

New Zealand recession continues with fourth-quarter slump Wellington - New Zealand's deepening recession was confirmed Friday when official figures were released showing the economy had contracted for the fourth consecutive quarter last year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) was down 0.9 per cent in the December quarter, Statistics New Zealand said, with a 3.8 per cent slump in manufacturing the main contributor.

The one bright feature of the report was a 4-per-cent rise in agricultural output in the last quarter, driven by increased production of dairy products, which account for about

ROUNDUP: Lula: Crisis created by "white people with blue eyes"

ROUNDUP: Lula: Crisis created by "white people with blue eyes" Brasilia - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva demanded Thursday that industrialized countries take responsibility in the efforts to overcome the current global financial crisis, which he said was created by "white people with blue eyes."

In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Brasilia, Lula again stressed that it is necessary to regulate the international financial system.

ROUNDUP: US seeks dramatic expansion of financial regulatory powers

US seeks dramatic expansion of financial regulatory powersWashington  - President Barack Obama's administration, in a massive overhaul of the US financial regulatory system, is seeking the power to keep watch on all types of financial firms and to seize failing companies integral to the health of the system.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled the plans in congressional testimony on Thursday, arguing that the current financial turmoil has proven the system is "too unstable and fragile" to be allowed to manage itself.

Obama in arm-twisting visit to Congress - prelude to budget battle

Obama in arm-twisting visit to Congress - prelude to budget battle Washington  - US President Barack Obama headed to Congress Wednesday for a meeting with his fellow Democratic Party lawmakers, some of whom have been skeptical of the administration's massive spending plans to help end the country's recession.

His visit came as the budget committees of both chambers in Congress began debating Obama's 2010 budget proposals - the first step in what is likely to be a prolonged battle over the president's spending priorities.

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