Obama To Appoint Panel, Not Czar, For Auto Recovery

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It will take more than a "car czar" to help get the ailing U.S. auto industry back on track, President Obama has decided. His administration is establishing a presidential task force to direct the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers will oversee the new panel, according to a senior administration official. (AP)

GM and Chrysler are expected to submit restructuring plans to the government tomorrow and ask for billions more in taxpayer loans. But there is considerable skepticism about Chrysler developing a realistic roadmap to solvency. (NPR)

The auto industry task force is just one element of Obama's plan to revive the flailing economy. Tomorrow he's flying to Denver to sign the $787 billion stimulus bill into law, again taking his economic message to the American people.

See the Daily Yonder's data on rural broadband access in the U.S.

Included in the stimulus package is $7 billion to expand broadband into rural and other underserved areas. But there's pushback from some who call it wasteful spending.
Plus, a report on what one Navajo community hopes to gain from the $3 billion for Native American tribes. (NPR)

Japan Economy Shrinks At Fastest Rate In 35 Years » Strangled by the collapse in global export demand, Japan's economy shrank at its fastest rate in 35 years in the fourth quarter and shows no signs of reversing course soon. (AP)

Companies Rethink Annual Performance Reviews » The annual performance review is getting reviewed itself, and has received low marks. Employees say feedback from the review is too little and comes too late to be effective.

This program aired on February 16, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.