Obama to name his top econ­o­mist in Jan­uary

The Pak Banker - - I Nternational -

HONOLULU: Among the first an­nounce­ments Pres­i­dent Barack Obama will make upon re­turn­ing from his Hawai­ian vacation is his choice for top eco­nomic ad­viser, a de­ci­sion that could sig­nal a new di­rec­tion for the ad­min­is­tra­tion as it strug­gles to jump­start the econ­omy and wres­tle down un­em­ploy­ment. It's far more than a per­son­nel move. The re­place­ment for the out­go­ing di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, Lawrence Sum­mers, will have a guid­ing hand in nearly ev­ery eco­nomic de­ci­sion the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion makes, and the pres­i­dent's choice is be­ing closely watched for signs of where he wants to take his eco­nomic agenda in the sec­ond half of his term. Will he tap the busi­ness world with a fig­ure such as Roger Altman, an in­vest­ment banker and Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion alum­nus who might carry too much bag­gage from his as­so­ci­a­tion with Wall Street? Will he turn to academia in­stead, call­ing on a scholar such Yale Pres­i­dent Richard Levin? Or will he go with deeply ex­pe­ri­enced in­sid­ers such as deficit hawk Gene Sper­ling at the Trea­sury Depart­ment or Ja­son Furman, the coun­cil's deputy di­rec­tor? Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said he ex­pects Obama to make an an­nounce­ment in early Jan­uary, and blamed any de­lay on the fren­zied leg­isla­tive ses­sion that con­sumed the White House through the end of the year. -Ap

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