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Obama Suggests No Bonuses for Executives


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama says bank executives should forgo their annual multimillion-dollar bonuses this year to show they are taking responsibility during the economic crisis.

In excerpts of an ABC television interview to be broadcast Wednesday, Mr. Obama said Wall Street executives should recognize there are many Americans who are struggling in these economic times.

He said executives who are already worth tens of millions of dollars should be willing to make some sacrifices, calling it the "least" they can do.

Mr. Obama also criticized the heads of the largest U.S. auto companies who took private jets to Washington to ask Congress for billions of dollars in loans to help the faltering industry. The president-elect said the auto executives seem to be a "little tone deaf" ignorant or unaware to what is happening in the country.

Mr. Obama said he hopes to usher in a return to what he called an "ethic of responsibility" when he takes office in January.

On a lighter topic, Mr. Obama discussed his BlackBerry mobile communications device, saying it would be a "problem" to be forced to give it up when he takes office.

He said he is negotiating with the Secret Service, lawyers and White House staff to figure out how he can continue to get information from outside what he called the "bubble" that exists around a president.

Incoming first lady Michelle Obama also appeared in the interview. She said she told the White House staff that the couple's two young daughters will be required to clean up their rooms and make their own beds when they move into the presidential residence in January.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


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