Obama to Announce Economic Team Today
Updated 11:05 a.m.
By Michael Fletcher
President-elect Barack Obama will officially introduce members of his incoming economic team today during a news conference in Chicago.
With the nation wracked by steep job losses, fears that the auto industry is nearing collapse and the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama has been under pressure to move quickly to restore confidence in the government's response to the growing economic crisis.
On Saturday he announced plans to propose a huge economic stimulus package soon after taking office that he said would create or prevent the loss of 2.5 million jobs. The package could amount to as much as $700 billion over two years.
Still, his economic team is shaping up as a coalition of economic centrists, many with ties to Wall Street or the Clinton administration. Obama is expected to name Timothy F. Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as Treasury secretary. Former Clinton administration Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers is expected to coordinate the president's economic policy as director of the National Economic Council. His deputy is expected to be Jason Furman, economic director of the Obama campaign, who also worked in the Clinton White House.
Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), a one-time primary opponent of Obama, is expected to be named commerce secretary, though the announcement may not come at the noon briefing.
In addition, Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago professor who was also a campaign aide to Obama, is expected to be named to a top economic advisory role, and Christina Romer, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, is expected to take the top slot at the Council of Economic Advisers. Peter Orszag, who heads the Congressional Budget Office, has reportedly been tapped to direct the Office of Management and Budget.
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