President John F. Kennedy famously said that he didn't realize what SOBs businessmen were, until the Agust 1962 "Steel Crisis." (Not to be confused with the Cuban missile crisis two months later.) Then, a group of steel companies announced a series of 3.5% price increases that the DEMOCRATS considered inflationary.
So what did Kennedy do? He had government contractors identify non-members of the "price cartel" for "preferred supplier" status. He had the Justice Department investigate the offenders for possible "pricce fixing." But most of all, he got on the phone with top executives, one by one, to ultimately "jawbone." prices down.
Fast forward to 2009. President Obama is faced with a massively larger crisis in the automotive sector. He unceremoniusly "fires" one top auto executive. He blames hedge funds holding the paper of another auto company for blocking his "cramdown." All in the public view. If there is behind the scenes work, there is less evidence of that than there are public pronouncements.
It is said that there are two things whose manufacture the public should never see: laws and sausages. Presidential actions have the force of law. Sometimes they are best kept under wraps, rather than being revealed Oprah style.