First draft: Back home, back to the economy

April 9, 2009

Back from his first international tour, President Barack Obama jumps back into his FINANCIAL/MORTGAGESgovernment’s efforts to help the struggling American economy.

First order of business is a roundtable discussion at the White House about low interest rates. The meeting will include members of Obama’s economic team and in an effort to draw attention to the benefits of low interest rates, Obama will also meet some homeowners who have refinanced now that rates are at historical lows.

During his meeting with his top economic advisers, Obama is expected to discuss the progress of “stress tests” of the 19 largest U.S. banks to see how they would withstand even tougher economic times.

U.S. stocks are expected to open higher today after the New York Times reported the U.S. banking industry seems to be in better shape than people think.SOMALIA-PIRACY/

Lurking in the background of a day of economic discussions is the fate of American crew of the hijacked cargo ship off the coast of Somalia. A U.S. warship is in the vicinity and the crew have control of the Maersk Alabama but the hijackers are holding the American captain hostage in a lifeboat.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credits: REUTERS/Rick Wilking (Sign for foreclosed house in Denver);  REUTERS/file photo provided by family (Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips in undated photo at his Vermont home)

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