I heard the economist Professor Ed Leamer's rapturous appreciation of the Obama speech (& here, here, here, here) (on the 7-30 Report) before I saw the speech myself. But this is an inspiring speech on a par with anything by J.F. Kennedy. Obama sees the need for a stimulus and the need for offsetting the debt implications of the stimulus. I don't know if he can do this but the framework is right and the speech is a skilled effort that will help pull America out of a pessimistic hole. In fact, however, Wall Street headed lower after the speech but this trend was - as in recent days - driven by frustration with the inability of investors to see a way out for the US banks.
BTW, Leamer was the first major forecaster to warn of the US housing bubble. I couldn't find a transcript of his remarks tonight but he was surprisingly optimistic. Leamer sees the tough times now as storing up a lot of latent demand for cars and housing. Indeed he sees the US economy rebounding strongly in a couple of quarters with even the housing sector recovering strongly. I find this difficult to understand given the pervasive rottenness of US credit markets. It is not only an issue of a short-term downturn in demand. Ben Bernanke sees the problem - the US can return to growth this year provided that the financial system is put in order. Its a monumentally big proviso given that the debt binge lasted for more than a decade.