How to Invest in Obamanomics

His top priority for 2010 is jobs. No surprise here. One of the most striking parts of the recovery so far is that even as output has begun to rise off previous lows, job numbers continue to linger in the basement. Firms are doing more with less, and fear of a double-dip recession has kept hiring at a bare minimum. Employment in especially hard-hit industries such as construction remains decimated.

The administration’s short-term answer to this problem is a new jobs bill that Obama hopes will quickly work its way through Congress. The exact details of this package are unknown and likely to change radically, but they are also likely to include tax breaks for hiring new workers and potentially new money for stimulus-related construction projects. Depending on the structure, the tax breaks may be targeted toward small business, meaning that many publicly traded companies will not see a big tax savings as they begin to return to full employment. [Read the full article]

The European Union’s executive said Friday that it would rule next week on Greece’s program to reduce a ballooning budget deficit — but refused to comment on reports that a bailout plan is under discussion.

French and German officials have denied reports in the International Herald Tribune and Le Monde that they are in talks with other eurozone nations about a financial rescue package for Greece, which wants to borrow euro54 billion from bond markets this year to plug its budget gap.

EU spokeswoman Amelia Torres also refused to comment, saying it was “unrealistic” to talk about what would happen if Greece were about to default on its debt.

Michael Offer, a spokesman for Germany’s finance ministry, denied that Germany was discussing any financial aid for Greece, saying Berlin “trusts Greece to implement measures” to cut public spending and hike taxes in order to reduce its debt. [Read the full article]

India’s central bank hiked cash reserve requirements for lenders but left key interest rates unchanged Friday as it tries to contain inflation without undermining an economic recovery.

The three quarters of a percentage point increase in the reserve requirement for banks to 5.75 percent was more than expected. It will be carried out in two steps.

The Reserve Bank of India also raised its projection for economic growth for the fiscal year ending March from 6 percent to 7.5 percent. It says inflation will likely hit 8.5 percent by March.

The bank said the hike in reserve requirements would drain 360 billion rupees ($7.8 billion) of liquidity from the financial system. [Read the full article]

Hybrid Car on Display During Philadelphia International Auto Show, January 30 through February 7

Business Wire – Photo courtesy of West Philly Hybrid X Team and International Battery.  View Multimedia Gallery …

International Battery (, a U.S. manufacturer and developer of large-format lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, today announced that it is providing two lithium ion battery packs for West Philly Hybrid X Team super fuel-efficient cars, aimed at exceeding 100 MPGe (miles per gallon or its energy equivalent). The environmentally friendly vehicles, one of which will be on display during the Philadelphia International Auto Show, are being built by local high school students and will compete in the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP). [Read the full article]

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