Obama Defends Strength of US Economy

In an unusual defense of the US economy, President Barack Obama declared Saturday that the Chinese and other foreign investors can have "absolute confidence" in Treasury bonds and other American investments. Obama, responding swiftly to Chinese worries about their trillion-dollar investment in US government debt, said in a White House appearance with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva that the American economy remains the most vibrant in the world, and has continued to attract foreign money even amid the deepest recession in decades. "Not just the Chinese government, but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States," Obama said, defending the safety not just of US government notes but also private sector issues. His comments came less than a day after Chinese Premier Wen Jibao declared in Beijing that he was "definitely a little worried" about Chinese holdings of US bonds, and said his government was watching closely how the United States tries to deal with its economic troubles. The exchange between the two leaders was an unusual public commentary on the soundness of an American economy that rarely has come under question from foreign leaders.