Obama: Markets Can “Ride Out” Libya Unrest, Oil Prices Will Be “Stabilized”

By Kristina

Feb 24, 2011 5:14pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: President Obama said today that he believes that markets can “ride out” the situation in Libya and that ultimately oil prices will be stabilized.

“We actually think we'll be able to ride out the Libya situation and it will stabilize,” the president said in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building today.

On Wednesday, the continuing unrest in Libya pushed the price of oil to $100 a barrel for a few seconds in New York trading. The last time prices were at the $100 level was Sept. 30, 2008.

Mr. Obama’s short comments came during a meeting with his newly appointed “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness,” when speaking about specific concerns in certain sectors. Secretary of the Treasury Geithner chimed in on oil prices as well.

“We have substantial capacity across the major economies in the strategic reserves of the major economies to deploy those reserves in the event we faced some particular risk of sustained supply disruption," Geithner said.

Today marked the first meeting of the president’s new council meant to advise the president on new ways to create jobs. The president said that he is not interested in photo ops or more meetings, because he has had a “surplus” of those on job creation already.

“I expect this to be a working group in which we are coming up with some concrete deliverables,” Obama said, “I don't think that we have to be trying to hit home runs every time. I think if we hit some singles and — and doubles, if we find some very specific things that this group can help us on and we can work on together, then we can build on that success, and in the aggregate over time this will have really made a difference at a critical juncture in our economy.”

The president said that while the economy is growing in many sectors the biggest challenge is that unemployment is still “way too high” all across the country.

“So what we wanted to do was retool,” he said, “It's critical for us to have input from folks who are actually hiring, putting people to work, making payroll, making the products and services that make our economy so powerful.  But we want to make sure that we narrowed the focus to think about how do we ensure, A, that we're putting people to work right now, but also how do we lay the foundation for us to win the future over the long term.”

-Sunlen Miller

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