Aug 15, 2011

Obama left short-handed on economy

From the LA Times - As he confronts the threat of another recession and turmoil in the financial markets, President Obama is being advised by an economic team that is noticeably short on big-name players — potentially hurting his ability to find solutions and sell them to Wall Street, Congress and the American public."When you ask about the economic team, it's kind of like, 'What economic team?'" said Edward Mills, a financial policy analyst with FBR Capital Markets. "They are very thin at a very critical time. They need all the firepower they can muster. Yet the team is missing a key messenger in selling Obama's policies. The post of chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors — an influential position — is vacant and is likely to remain so at least into the fall.When Obama took office in early 2009, he was counseled by an all-star economic team that included former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, Great Depression scholar Christina D. Romer and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker.Also on the roster were well-regarded economists such as Budget Director Peter R. Orszag, Jared Bernstein and Austan Goolsbee. All of them have since resigned.That leaves Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner as the sole remaining top member of the original team. But Geithner is a financial markets expert, not an economist. And some analysts worry that the White House might not have enough economic expertise to fashion new proposals for boosting growth. Read more

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