This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
estimates show that the United States economy began to grow again in July,
August and September. The three-and-a-half percent growth was the first expansion
in more than a year, and the strongest in two years.
The government said increases in consumer spending and
exports and improvements in business investment led the growth. So did increased
federal spending and housing investments.
high unemployment could limit growth for some time.
Obama had this reaction to Thursday's report on the gross domestic product -- a
wide measure of goods and services in the economy.
BARACK OBAMA: "This is obviously welcome news and
an affirmation that this recession is abating and the steps we've taken have
made a difference. But I also know that we've got a long way to go to fully
restore our economy and recover from what's been the longest and deepest
downturn since the Great Depression."
downturn was partly caused by bankers and others taking irresponsible risks to earn
huge payments. So say their critics. Criticism
of Wall Street pay is nothing new. But never
before has the government used hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue companies
that made risky investments.
June, the Obama administration appointed lawyer Kenneth Feinberg as the "special
master" on executive pay -- also known as the pay czar. Congress gave him
power over compensation of the twenty-five highest-paid employees at seven companies
most indebted to taxpayers.
week, he gave lawmakers a progress report.
KENNETH FEINBERG: "We greatly reduced the amount
of cash that would be made available to these senior officials. We reduced that
cash by approximately ninety percent."
The seven companies are in the financial and auto
industries. Now Kenneth Feinberg must consider their next seventy-five highest
some management experts warn that limiting pay could make it harder for
taxpayers to get their money back. Edward Lawler at the University of Southern
California says these companies may now have difficulty getting and keeping
But he agrees that in recent years, many companies have
tied pay to short-term performance, instead of their long-term health. He also
says boards of directors need to do more to control pay.
EDWARD LAWLER: "We could have boards that do a
much better job of designing compensation plans. If we had good boards, I think
they could certainly do a better job of that than the government can."
Last week, the Federal Reserve proposed
to examine pay policies at thousands of banks. The central bank would reject policies
that it thought might cause bankers to take too much risk.
And that's the VOA Special
English Economics Report. I'm Mario Ritter.