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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Picks Smart People for Economic Team

Some of my favorite words from President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama's announcement of his economic team yesterday:
  • Of Treasury Secretary appointee Tim Geithner: "...unparalleled understanding of our current economic crisis, in all of its depth, complexity and urgency... unique insight... clear vision...."
  • Of National Economic Council Director appointee Larry Summers: "...a thought leader... one of the great economic minds of our time... his thinking, writing, and speaking have set the terms of the debate."
  • Of Council of Economic Advisors chair appointee Christina Romer: "...one of the most expert people in America on economic crises and how to solve them... a leading macroeconomist and a leading economic historian... has done groundbreaking research...."
  • Of Domestic Policy Council Director appointee Melody Barnes: "...one of the most respected policy experts in America... brilliant legal mind...."
Better put your anti-intellectualism back on the shelf. This is more than "glorious, glorious competence"; this is Obama saying we need the smartest kids in the class running the show. Now that's real change!

Another smart choice: Peter Orszag to direct the Office of Management and Budget. Graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, M.Sc. and Ph.D. as Marshall Scholar at London School of Economics... and as I noted back in January, he blogs from his current job as director of the Congressional Budget Office! Smart and wired—exactly the kind of people we need to make Economy 2.0 (and Government 2.0) work!


  1. With the Treasury Secretary on his spending spree he surely isn’t trying to get a good return on the tax payers’ investment. The bailout was to buy up bad mortgage debt but it never did. What is the purpose of the fund? Paulson’s has warrants on many banks and they average 1 – 3 percent when enacted. Yet the cash investment is about 20 percent of the market cap. Maybe the next Treasury Secretary will be less erratic.


  2. Obama is certainly surrounding himself with a diverse, experienced, and brilliant crew. There will doubtless be internal debates and maybe some serious disagreements, but such is the stuff of real democracy.

  3. So far it is a regurgitation of the Clinton White House and Cabinet, not that those folks will be all bad, but certainly not ground-breaking reform!


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