November 26th, 2008
11:05 AM ET
5 months ago

Obama names former Fed chairman to head recovery board

Obama held his third press conference in three days Wednesday.
Obama held his third press conference in three days Wednesday.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday named former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, 81, to lead a new economic recovery board.

"Paul has been by my side throughout this campaign, providing a deep understanding of financial markets, extensive experience managing economic crises, and keen insight into the global nature of this particular crisis," Obama told reporters, calling Volcker "one of the one of the world's foremost economic policy experts."

Obama said a key purpose of the board would be to provide a perspective from outside the walls of the Washington "echo chamber," which he said "can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking."

The announcement came during the president-elect's third news conference in three days on the economic situation.

Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who has been one of Obama's top economic advisors, will serve as Staff Director and Chief Economist of the board.

Obama said he would name other members of the board "in the coming weeks." He is due to take office on January 20, 2009.

The board will brief Obama, offering independent, nonpartisan information, analysis and advice to the president as he formulates and implements his plans for economic recovery, Obama's transition office said.

It will be established initially for a two-year term, after which Obama will determine whether to continue its existence based on its continued necessity.

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Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Diing

    Alan, can you please tell us what change means to you? and what's wrong with thousands of Americans who worked for the Clinton's Administration? Please, stop your bogus claims.

    November 26, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. boered1

    all you babies crying about "no change" are fools you see Obama is bringing real change, smart change, directed change not random changes. All through the campaing you idiots argued that change for change sake without direction is stupid.. wellnow you see that Obama HAS a direction he is not making random changes he is making real smart in depth changes.. guess the subtility is lost on you fools

    November 26, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. truthsayer

    That CNN guy got a smack down from Obama. How is it that all these tough questions went awry when the Bushies were in office.
    The Change is me!!! I am the change!!!. Love it.

    November 26, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Ann

    Look, Obama won the primaries crying that Hillary represents the old Washington. The point is not whether Volcker is the right choice or not, the point is that Obama told his stories about 'change' and so many stupids believed it, without having any plan how to implement it. Now, he relies on the same old guard to use their heads and do the job. Of course the government needs experienced people.. but why did you need an inexperienced president?

    November 26, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. truthsayer

    Ronald Reagan was a great actor.

    November 26, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Rick

    What is Change? I think the general American population has the wrong idea of it. One can implement change by also using someone that is known. Real change is not about changing the person but the direction or policy. A new person may represent a physical change and may cater to narrow minds that holds a perspective of "change we can believe in"

    Educate yourself America and stop suffocating ideas by placing them in your own box.

    November 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. RobK

    I can't believe all you Dems fell for Obama's line about change. He is a Chicago politician after all. A successful one too. Now he's going to fill his posts with the same people that Hillary or John Edwards or Ted Kennedy or Richardson would have used: Washington insiders with a smattering of outside folk, skewed a bit to the left. Any wild haired liberal wouldn't make it past the vetting process and/or would be too inexperienced.

    November 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. GA for Obama

    JuanM, Alan- Either you're stupid or just plain ignorant. Volcker, Gates, Jones, Jarrett, Baines, Axelrod, Gibbs, etc are Clinton ppl?

    AT LAST COUNT, less than 8 out of 50 ppl are Clintonites. Yes, Gates and Volcker change, JuanM. They're experienced in they're fields and both ARE REPUBLICANS. That's part of change.

    FACE IT. No matter what he does, you'll criticise him. That's called hatred, btw.

    November 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. LyonsPhilly

    Obama, keep up the good work.

    November 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Cammi317

    I trust Obama's judement, but I have to admit that I am a little weary of Volker's age.

    November 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Larry

    I WISH the Democrats would take the time to LEARN that the economic disaster we are in ,is in fact , brought on by their party,even though Bush was the president,they cann't seem to grasp that fact.It would require reading,and to not be in total denial.

    November 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Walter

    Hopefully Volcker has learned from his mistakes and all the suffering he caused in the 70's and 80's. Give him a chance. Just stock up on beans and rice as an insurance policy.

    November 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. EW

    Talk is cheap, Mr. President-elect. No government can stop a recession. No government can control an economy. Where exactly does this economic stimulus and bailout money come from? The answer is simple. Taxpayers, for generations to come, if we can survive that long.

    If you want a government that has a stranglehold on everything, move to China, Iran, or North Korea. I prefer a free market even if it means that sometimes bad things happen to good people.

    November 26, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Ken in Dallas

    Hey JuanM, Obama has never promised to balance the budget. It was McCain who said that.

    Sweetie, your fundamental ignorance of economics is showing. Volcker did what was necessary to get inflation under control, and provided the foundation for the economic recovery Reagan claimed credit for.

    And you people don't really expect Obama to staff his Cabinet with beginners, do you? I'm sure you'd like him to use the Republican people and policies that put us in this hole in the first place, but that doesn't sound like change or a good idea to me.

    As for Ed Henry, keep doing the job. When you step up to the president's podium. it's time to be ready for some hard questions. It goes with the territory, and Ed was fulfilling his role as a mamber of the Fourth Estate.

    November 26, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Fair play would be nice

    I agree that Obama is surrounding himself with the best people possible. But these were the very ones he campaigned against- those he criticized for being old Washington insiders.

    Now they are the best to be had.

    That is the irony. Obama won by dirty campaigning. He lied to steal the election. Now all is forgiven and he praises those he bashed for 2 full years.

    November 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. EW

    I remember the Clinton administration. That was a time where I made 10% of what I make now for a salary. Such great times.....

    Facts are facts. The economy gerw more under President Bush than it did under Clinton.

    November 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Change - Yeah Left

    I did NOT realize that Volcker was the nightmare of the Carter years. I realize it, and now that I do, I'm ill.

    I remember inflation so high that we had nothing. I remember my father being threatened by the unions in Detroit because he was a salaried company man. I remember waiting in lines for hours only to discover that there was no gas. I remember my mother crying because of how high the taxes were in comparison to my father's income.

    I think I'll go throw up now.

    C'mon CNN – post this for me – people need to know.

    November 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Fair play would be nice

    I agree that Obama is now surrounding himself with the best people possible. But these politicians were the very ones he attacked in his negative campaign – those he criticized for being old Washington insiders. The media played the game with him and bashed anyone who was not the great Obama. Now they praise his hypocrisy in selecting the very people with experience that he railed against.

    Now those people are the best to be had and Obama is brilliant for picking the same old insiders. Way to go. What a change that is.

    That is the irony. Obama won by dirty campaigning. He lied to steal the election. Now all is forgiven and he praises those he bashed for 2 full years.

    November 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Peter (CA)

    Ah Sweetie, you're back...and still ranting away I see.

    By the time Volcker arrived the problems were already here. He was able to being some stability, although I did not agree with some of his policies.

    We lost our wealth because it is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The current policies continued that. New policies have to change that.

    November 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Fair play would be nice

    CNN- Always moderating those who don't fawn over the messiah- I agree that Obama is surrounding himself with the best people possible. But these were the very ones he campaigned against- those he criticized for being old Washington insiders.

    Now they are the best to be had.

    That is the irony. Obama won by dirty campaigning. He lied to steal the election. Now all is forgiven and he praises those he bashed for 2 full years.

    November 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Tim

    Tough question from Ed? Not really, his questions were silly. Why would you pick someone with no experience when we face the greatest economic disaster since the depression? This is a time to make sure you have the smartest people advising the president. Second, why did Ed ask for specifics of Obama's economic plans when the President-Elect had just rolled out a new advisory group to study these very issues? Ed looked unprepared today. I hope in the future he can identify tough questions, not silly ones. That is the role of the press.

    November 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Democrats have lost their way

    I thought McCain was too old- Biden is almost as old and this guy is even older.

    What is wrong with the ways democrats think?

    November 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    mary-

    Thew "warnings" came up when the Republicans were in power. Why did they not do something about it?

    The thought that everything has fallen apart in the last 2 years is a delusion. The economy has been running on smoke and mirrors since Bush took office. The dot-com bust and 9/11 made things tough but he made extremely poor decisions on how to address the problem. He ran up his credit card and now the bill has come due.

    November 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Hitler Youth for Obama

    Isn't change wonderful?

    Obama changing his mind- about age, about experience, about old white washington insiders. Those he railed against for 2 years are now the very best the country has to offer.

    What shameful hypocrisy. Obama is the consumate politician.... and everyone, including the media is giving him total freedom and praise no mtter what he does or says.

    November 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Mike Dallas

    All you goofs complaining this is not change. Did you not see the interview today? As he stated, Obama will determine the change after listening to his cabinet as well as this part time economic group. Then HE will decide and indicate how he wants the change done.

    His appointments will be the tools to implement the change, so of course you need people from D.C. and the Clinton era to with the experience to accomplish this.

    So, since there is no parallel universe of Democrats where exactly do you folks think he will get the experience needed?

    November 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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