Analysis: Obama Plan Will Net Three 3 Million to Four 4 Million New Jobs: President-elect Barack Obama's $775 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan should result in 3 million to 4 million new jobs by the end of 2010, according to an analysis by Christina Romer, Obama's nominee to head the Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, chief economist and economic policy adviser to Vice President-elect Joe Biden. The 13-page report notes that "more than 90 percent of the jobs created are likely to be in the private sector." Because the recovery package focuses on infrastructure, energy, and school repair, construction and manufacturing will account for over a million new jobs. While the study says the new jobs will be both high and low paying, "significant shares of jobs are created in sectors that pay above average, such as construction and business services." The study also predicts that in "addition to creating high-quality jobs, the program is likely to improve existing jobs" by, among other things, moving workers from part-time positions to full time.
Course Correction Needed in Financial Bailout: President-elect Obama is calling for a course correction in the implementation of the massive financial bailout. Lawrence Summers, the director-designate of the National Economic Council, said in a letter to House and Senate leaders that Obama believes "there has been too little transparency and accountability; too much upside for financial institutions and executives who acted irresponsibly without providing enough help for small-business owners, families who are struggling to keep their jobs and make ends meet, and innocent homeowners." Summers said Obama's priorities will include: the reopening of credit to families, small businesses and municipalities; reforming oversight and regulation of financial institutions; addressing the foreclosure crisis; imposing tough conditions on those receiving bailout money: and planning for the end of government intervention.
FBI Releases Preliminary Crime Stats: Violent crime was down 3.5 percent, and property crime dipped 2.5 percent in the first half of 2008, according to FBI figures. The Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, which compared data from January through June of 2007 and 2008, found that murder declined 4.4 percent, aggravated assault was down 4.1 percent, rape fell 3.3 percent, and robbery slipped 2.2 percent. In metropolitan areas, violent crime was down 4.1 percent, and in nonmetropolitan counties, it was down 7.5 percent. The Midwest posted the largest decrease in violent crime, 6 percent, followed by the West, with 5 percent, 2.9 percent in the Northeast, and 1.5 percent in the South. In the area of property crime, the FBI said that motor vehicle theft was down 12.6 percent, larceny thefts 1.2 percent and burglaries 0.8 percent. Property crimes decreased 6.1 percent in the West, 4.7 percent in the Midwest, and .4 percent in the South. However, the Northeast saw an increase of 1.7 percent.
Top Private- Sector Security Issues for 2008: Terrorism, piracy, and corruption were among the top security concerns in 2008 for American businesses and other private-sector groups operating overseas, a federal advisory group has determined. The report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council noted that while not all terrorist incidents in 2008 involved U.S. victims, "these attacks—which often targeted other Western entities—have raised concerns for U.S. firms and organizations operating in areas experiencing attacks." The group's executive director, Todd Brown, specifically cited the attack in Mumbai that he said highlights the perception of an increased terrorist threat in India and worldwide hotel safety. The group, formed in 1985 to promote security cooperation between the private sector and the U.S. Department of State, also noted that businesses operating in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania have raised concerns about corruption "due to greater insistence on bribes for contracts and permits."