“Back from the Abyss”: Obama Adviser Touts Economic Rescue

By Gorman Gorman

Jul 17, 2009 11:18am

ABCNews' Matthew Jaffe reports: The nation’s economy has been rescued from the brink of collapse, President Obama’s top economic adviser believes. In excerpts released by the White House, National Economic Council director Larry Summers touts the progress made by the administration in averting a financial meltdown. “We were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year, but we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss,” Summers plans to say this morning at the Peterson Institute in Washington. “Substantial progress has been made in rescuing the economy from the risk of economic collapse that looked all too real six months ago.” When the administration entered office back in January, Summers recalls, “the economy was in free-fall at the start of the year with no apparent limit on how much worse things could get…fear was widespread and confidence was scarce.” But thanks to President Obama’s two-tiered approach of addressing the immediate crisis and building for long-term growth, Summers says, “the distance we have traveled these past six months is remarkable.” “First, the most immediate priority was to rescue the economy by restoring confidence and breaking the vicious cycle of economic contraction and financial failure,” outlines Summers. “Second, the recovery from this crisis would be built not on the flimsy foundation of asset bubbles but on the firm foundation of productive investment and long-term growth.” In recent weeks, the administration has sent their sweeping financial regulatory reform proposals down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress. Going forward, Summers calls for an economy that is more export-oriented and more balanced in terms of income distribution. While acknowledging that the administration’s agenda is “ambitious”, Summers believes it will “lay a foundation for future prosperity and for the confidence on which the current recovery depends.” -Matthew Jaffe

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