January 28

“What you need to know to navigate today’s economic debate.”

Obama Sounded Like a Good Old-Fashioned Mercantilist (The Economist’s View)
Mark Thoma discusses the role that export-driven growth played in Obama’s SOTU address last night.

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell 8,000 Last Week to 470,000 (Bloomberg)
Fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week and total benefit rolls shrank, indicating companies are nearing the end of staffing cuts as the economy recovers.

Obama’s State of the Union: Hey, Look Me Over…Again (MotherJones)
David Corn analyzes Obama’s attempt to woo back independent voters with a relaxed tenor and an increased focus on jobs (and not health care) during his SOTU address.

AIG Scandal: Fed as Chump or Fed as Crony? (NakedCapitalism)
Yves Smith debates the possibility of the cognizant ability of the Federal Reserve in the midst of the AIG fiasco, asking whether the Fed may have been duped, or may have been aware of AIG’s ominous practices all along.

Obama’s day: Florida follow-up to big speech (USAToday)
Obama will be following up his SOTU speech by visiting Florida to announce $8 billion in stimulus funds for high-speed rail.

First thoughts on President Obama’s state of the union address (WaPo)
Chris Cillizza dissects Obama’s SOTU address, noting that when it came to the economy, Obama did not fail to mention his predecessor, George W. Bush, on a few occassions.

The president uses the State of the Union speech to relaunch his brand (Slate)
John Dickerson describes Obama’s SOTU address as reminiscent of the campaign days when Obama emphasized bipartisanship and an end to special interest influence.

Finally, some spine (Salon)
Joan Walsh writes that although Obama issued no specific legislative demands during his address last night, he laid out his agenda with a humor and grace that has characterized him as a national figure.