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President-Elect Obama Promises Act Quickly to End the Economic Crisis


President-elect Barack Obama told a governor's meeting that he will work to end the country's economic crisis quickly. VOA's Catherine Cannon has this report from Washington.

President-Elect Barack Obama, speaking to a bipartisan group of state governors in Philadelphia on Tuesday, said he will work quickly to end the difficult economic times with a recovery plan that will increase federal spending.

Mr. Obama said he is not asking the state leaders just to implement his economic plan, but he is urging them to work with his administration to help draft and shape the solution.

"My attitude is that if we are listening to the governors, then the money that we spend is going to be well spent," said Barack Obama. "And it means that it will get working faster and the people in your state will experience prosperity sooner."

The National Governors Association is calling for Mr. Obama to support funding for health care and infrastructure projects. The association says 20 states have already been forced to cut more than $7 billion from their budgets because of the economic crisis.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said the downturn actually began in December 2007.

Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab, Liz Ann Sonders, predicts the United States will continue to battle the recession next year.

"We are a year into this recession," said Liz Ann Sonders. "And it is probably at least as long as the two longest recessions we have had in the post-depression [era], which were about 16 months. So we would probably go until at least mid 2009."

Sonders says the market will continue to see these major swings, but overall, the economy should not fall further.

"This quarter we are in right now, the fourth quarter of 2008, will be the worst single quarter in terms of GDP growth," she said. "We do not improve markedly in 2009, in my opinion, but I think we are at really the peak of the pain right now."

One day after the National Bureau of Economic Research declared the U.S. economy to officially be in a recession, markets around the world were mixed.

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