Joby Warrick
Washington Post
February 26, 2009

The daily White House intelligence report that catalogs the top security threats to the nation has a grim new addition, reflecting the realities of the age: a daily update on the global financial crisis and its cascading effects on the stability of countries through the world.

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The first Economic Intelligence Briefing report was presented to the White House yesterday by the CIA, the agency’s new director, Leon Panetta, revealed at a news conference. The addition of economic news to the daily roundup of terrorist attacks and surveillance reports appears to reflect a growing belief among intelligence officials that the economic meltdown is now preeminent among security threats facing the United States.

“We’ve seen the impact of a worldwide recession occur throughout the world,” said Panetta, who described the agency’s newest product at his first news briefing since his confirmation. Instigated at the request of the White House, the daily report will ensure that U.S. policymakers are “not surprised” by the aftershocks from bank failures and rising unemployment, he said.

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