WSJ: Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists
U.S. President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
Economists Give Obama an "F"
In striking contrast to President Obama's popularity with the public, a new Wall Street Journal survey of economists gives the president and his treasury secretary failing grades. WSJ's Phil Izzo and Kelly Evans discuss.
The economists' assessment stands in stark contrast with Mr. Obama's popularity with the public, with a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll giving him a 60% approval rating. A majority of the 49 economists polled said they were dissatisfied with the administration's economic policies.
The economists, many of whom have been continually surprised by the depth of the downturn, also pushed back yet again their forecasts for when a recovery would begin. On average, they expect the downturn to end in October. Last month, they said the bottom would arrive in August. They estimate that U.S. gross domestic product will continue to contract in the first half of this year, with slow growth returning in the third quarter.
Economists were divided over whether the $787 billion economic-stimulus package passed last month is enough. Some 43% said the U.S. will need another stimulus package on the order of nearly $500 billion. Others were skeptical of the need for stimulus at all.
However, economists' main criticism of the Obama team centered on delays in enacting key parts of plans to rescue banks. "They overpromised and underdelivered," said Stephen Stanley of RBS Greenwich Capital. "Secretary Geithner scheduled a big speech and came out with just a vague blueprint. The uncertainty is hanging over everyone's head."