In Greece and Italy, both heavily-indebted members of the EU's euro-zone, non-political leaders were chosen to lead economic recovery. Lucas Papademos, a banker, became prime minister in Greece of a government likely to last only until a general election in February. In Italy Mario Monti, an economist and former UN commissioner, took charge of the government in succession to Silvia Berlusconi and appointed a new cabinet of unelected economic and other specialists.

Boeing closed the biggest deal for commercial aircraft in its history when the Dubai-based airline Emirates ordered 50 of Boeing's 777 jets, with an option for 20 more, at a cost of US$81 billion.

Warren Buffett (one of the world's richest men) revealed that his company Berkshire Hathaway had bought a 5.5 per cent share of the information technology company IBM, thus breaking his previous dislike of companies of this character.

During his visit to Australia President Obama announced an agreement for some 2'500 US Marines to be stationed near Darwin on Australia's northern shore.

It was one of several Asia/Pacific initiatives taken during Obama's visit to the region.

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