Money Matters - Simplified


Obama to throw Nats' 'first pitch'

Viera -- U.S. President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals home opener next week.

The Nationals open their season at 1:05 p.m. EDT April 5 against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

Obama's appearance is a continuation of a presidential traditional begun 100 years ago when William Howard Taft tossed the first pitch on April 14, 1910, to open the Washington Senators' game with the Philadelphia Athletics.

"Opening day of the baseball season is a special event for our country and its importance has been reinforced by the 100-year history of presidential participation," baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.

Gibbs: Don't try to overtalk the president

Washington -- Note to news reporters wanting to interview U.S. President Barack Obama: Let him answer uninterrupted.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had a Miss Manners moment Thursday when asked about Obama's seeming frustration about being interrupted during an interview with Fox News anchor/reporter Bret Baier

"I will simply say that I think it's always better ... when you interview the president that you let the president give his answer," Gibbs said during his regular media briefing. "I've always found that to be the most effective way to conduct an interview."

During the interview that aired Wednesday, Obama said "let me finish" three times.

Obama's inaugural gown enshrined in museum

Washington -- The gown first lady Michelle Obama wore to balls celebrating her husband Barack Obama's inauguration is on display at the National Museum of American History.

Obama officially began his tenure as president of the United States in January 2009.

"So, here we are. It's the dress," Michelle Obama said Tuesday about the frock she wore to the inaugural balls. "I am very honored and very humbled, but I have to say that I'm also a little embarrassed by all the fuss being made over my dress. Like many of you, I'm not used to people wanting to put things I've worn on display. So, all of this is a little odd, so forgive me. But, at the same time, I truly recognize the significance of this day.

Obama forwards Volcker rule to Congress

Washington -- The Obama administration forwarded its draft of a Volcker rule limiting the size and activity of U.S. financial companies to Congress Wednesday.

The White House proposed limiting bank shares to 10 percent of overall liabilities and prohibiting banks from "purchasing or selling, or otherwise acquiring and disposing of, stocks, bonds, options, commodities, derivatives, or other financial instruments for the institution's or company's own trading book," the White House said in summary of the draft bill.

There was already skepticism that the bill would make it into law as Republicans were particularly set against it, The Financial Times reported.

M. Obama taping 'More You Know' spots

New York -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is to be featured in "The More You Know" public service campaign, NBC Universal announced.

Obama is expected to talk about fighting childhood obesity in the public service announcements as part of her nationwide effort to help kids lead healthier and longer lives.

The PSAs featuring the first lady will begin airing in the coming weeks across NBCU platforms, the company said Tuesday. The spots will kick off her national "Let's Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Survey shows concern for quality of jobs

Princeton -- The Obama administration might be wise to consider the quality of U.S. jobs as well as the quantity, researchers at Gallup said Thursday.

The reason, Gallup said, is pessimism about finding a "quality job" has risen.
About 9 percent of respondents in a recent survey indicated it was a good time to find a "quality job," a sharp decline from January 2007, when 48 percent of respondents to the same question indicated it was a good time to find a "quality job," Gallup said.

"While Americans disagree about many things -- and rarely reflect an overwhelming consensus about anything concerning the economy -- their views about the lack of quality jobs are a clear exception, the polling firm said in a statement.

Bank proposals germinate quick reactions

New York -- A banking executive downplayed U.S. President Barack Obama's bank-limiting proposals but investors voted quickly, knocking back bank shares on Wall Street.

Morgan Stanley's shares fell 6.6 percent after the Thursday announcement. Bank of America's share values dropped 6.2 percent. At Citigroup, shares slid 5.5 percent, The New York Times reported.

Obama proposed banning commercial banks -- banks with federally insured consumer deposits -- from making risky investments with their own money. He also proposed extending a cap, set at 10 percent, on the share of insured deposits to other bank liabilities, effectively limiting the size of banks.

Obama considers fee for large banks

Washinton -- Administration officials said President Barack Obama is considering a fee for large U.S. banks to make up for losses in the $700 billion bank bailout program.

The fee would likely be part of the president's budget proposal and aims to make up $120 billion lost in the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- an estimate that may change in the future, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Politically, the fee is also meant to placate voters angry that banks contributed to the two-year recession, but quickly returned to profitability and awarding staff huge bonus checks.

Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee said he encouraged the White House to pursue a fee.

Chicago businesses hoping for Obama fix

Chicago -- At least one Chicagoan says she wants President Barack Obama to return to the Windy City, saying she hoped he hasn't forgotten about his adopted hometown.

"Please come home," Carole Carter, a retired nurse, urged the president. "We miss you and the excitement you bring to the city."

Before his inauguration, Obama said he would try to get back to Chicago every six to eight weeks, but that schedule hasn't worked, USA Today reported Tuesday. He hasn't been to Chicago since July.

Nurse Carter said she hoped Obama hasn't "fallen out of love" with Chicago -- a sentiment echoed by area businesses, USA Today said.

Obama's inaguration was threatened by terrorist attack, reveals NYT

New York, January 5 -- Security officials scrambled to protect President Obama as reports of Somali terrorists attacking his inauguration ceremony arose few days before the event, the New York Times revealed.