The US economy shrank at an annual rate of 3.8% in the last quarter of 2008, according to the latest report from the US Commerce Department. This is the worst performance of the US economy since 1982.
US carmaker Ford reported this week the biggest full-year loss in its history, but said it still was not going to ask for government loans. Ford said its net loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was 5.9 billion dollars, and 14.6 billion for the whole year.
US President Barack Obama has called for urgent action on his 825 billion US dollars economic recovery plan, saying the American people expect it. Republican lawmakers are increasingly vocal in opposing the bill, complaining it is too expensive and unworkable.
The United States Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels, and use all available tools to promote the resumption of sustainable economic growth, as it warned that the outlook for the world's largest economy has weakened further in recent weeks.
President Barack Obama chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview on Monday as president, part of his drive to repair relations with the Muslim world.
Timothy Geithner was sworn in as US Treasury Secretary within hours of the Senate approving his nomination on Monday. The confirmation by 60 votes to 34 was delayed due to concerns Mr Geithner had failed to pay previous taxes on time.
Barack Obama retook on Wednesday the US presidential oath of office, after the inauguration blunder that was heard throughout the world. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath to Mr Obama at the White House in a rare move in which no TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in.
The United States Senate in an overwhelming 94 to 2 vote Wednesday, gave final approval to the nomination of Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Action was delayed by one day because of Republican concerns about fund-raising by former President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation.
US President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. A draft order circulated on Wednesday also called for halting military trials in the prison, where terror suspects had been held for years without trial.
More dialogue is what countries are expecting from the administration of President Barack Obama, according to the Organization of American States, OAS, Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, one of the special guests to the presidential taking office ceremony in Washington.