Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | November 24, 2008

Obama Rolls Out Economic Team

President-elect Barack Obama announces his financial team at a news conference Monday.

Story Highlights
  • NEW: Barack Obama says his team is going to “jolt this economy back into shape”
  • NEW: Obama picks Tim Geithner as treasury secretary
  • NEW: Larry Summers joins administration as chief of the National Economic Council
  • Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Hillary Clinton expected to get Cabinet jobs

(CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama said Monday that the country is facing an “economic crisis of historic proportions,” and unveiled the team he has chosen to help get the economy back on track.

Obama said he sought leaders who share his fundamental belief that “we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street.”

Obama has tapped New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner as treasury secretary and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as chief of the National Economic Council.

Geithner helped manage Wall Street’s financial meltdown earlier this year, overseeing the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase, the bailout of AIG and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. He was appointed as the New York Federal Reserve president in November 2003.

Summers served as treasury secretary in the Clinton administration. He was the chief economist of the World Bank from 1991 through 1993. Prior to his career in government, Summers taught economics at Harvard.

University of California-Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer has been chosen to be the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The Council of Economic Advisers is a group of economists –including three who are appointed by the president and need Senate confirmation — that advise the president on economic policy.

Obama also announced Melody Barnes as director of the Domestic Policy Council and Heather Higginbottom as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Obama’s remarks came just hours after the federal government announced a massive rescue package for Citigroup — which President Bush said he’d spoken with Obama about before it was announced.

Obama on Saturday offered an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, saying American workers will rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy. VideoWatch Obama outline his economic plan »

Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.

The president-elect said Monday that he has asked his newly formed economic team to develop recommendations for his plan and to consult with Congress, the current administration and the Federal Reserve on immediate economic developments over the next two months.

During the presidential campaign, Obama proposed a $175 billion stimulus package over a two-year period, but some of his economic advisers have said recently that the package would need to be much larger.

Obama on Monday declined to speculate about how large the stimulus package would need to be, saying it’s important for his economic team to come back with a recommendation.

“We have to make sure that the stimulus is significant enough that it really gives a jolt to the economy,” he said. “We are going to do what’s required to jolt this economy back into shape,” he said.

Also this weekend, sources told CNN that Obama is expected to pick New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as secretary of commerce.

Obama aides also have told CNN that Obama is “on track” to nominate Sen. Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.

Obama’s picks mean that at least three former rivals from the Democratic presidential primaries will be in senior posts in the Obama administration: Richardson, Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Share your thoughts on Obama’s cabinet choices

The president-elect also met behind closed doors with Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a U.S. military official with direct knowledge of the talks.

The meeting, which took place in Chicago on Friday, was a “get acquainted session,” the official said.

President Bush personally approved the meeting, and it was also “encouraged” by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the official said. The approval was not required, but was given because of the sensitivity of having a sitting president’s advisers giving advice to a president not yet in office.

The meeting came as Mullen is reviewing a formal “request for forces” or RFF from commanders in the field for 15,000 to 20,000 additional troops to send to Afghanistan during the opening months of the Obama administration. The president-elect has spoken about his desire to find Osama bin Laden.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Obama spoke to him by phone Saturday and assured him that the United States would send more aid and pay more attention to his war-torn country, according to Karzai’s office, but Obama aides declined to confirm that the call had included specific promises.


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