This chapter presents a critical examination of President Barack Obama's economic philosophy and policy, focusing on the presidential campaign and his first year in office. It is argued that ‘Obamanomics’ represents an appropriately ambiguous placeholder for what remains an elusive economic philosophy, which in practice has oscillated between emergency measures and pragmatic adjustments. The nearest relative to Obamanomics may be the ‘Third Way’ ideology espoused by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in the late 1990s, which likewise sought to combine an embrace of free-market globalization with social amelioration in domestic policy. In as far as the financial crisis of 2008-9 provided both an impetus and a rationale for a radical reorientation of economic policy in the United States (and internationally), the opportunity for developing a progressive version of Obamanomics may already have been missed. Rather than transcending neoliberalism, this seems to presage a further period of accommodation and adaptation.
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