Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama picks solid economic team

1. Council of Economic Advisers: Christina Romer. Endorsed by Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution) and Greg Mankiw. Megan McArdle breathes a sigh of relief.

2. Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner. Endorsed by Cowen. And The Economist [link NSFW?].

3. National Economic Council: Lawrence Summers. Endorsed, though with some head scratching by Cowen and especially Mankiw. (I wasn't even sure what the NEC is -- it's not a prominent place.) But this could be positioning Summers for replacing Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman in a few years. Not that there's anything wrong with Bernanke.

If I'd known these would be Obama's choices, who to vote for would have been a no brainer. He's showing good tendencies. I also liked the appreciation Obama showed for the market economy in his interview with 60 Minutes.

Compared to Bill Clinton's economic team, Obama's is much stronger -- and Clinton's wasn't half bad.

Christina Romer is a quality pick, not just a diversity pick. Harvard's female president Drew Faust must be kicking herself for turning her down for a tenured appointment (scroll to fifth paragraph).

Addendum. Other economists call it a dream team: "The similarities between Ms. Romer and Mr. Bernanke (she and her husband also took over the NBER post he vacated) have some wondering whether she – and not Mr. Summers – is being groomed as a future chairman of the Federal Reserve." And check out David Leonhardt on The Return of Larry Summers: "Over the last two years, Mr. Summers has carved out a role unlike anyone else’s in the Democratic Party."


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