Obama adds on to economic team

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For the third time this week, President-elect Barack Obama held a news conference to announce key appointments to his economic team.

For the third time this week, President-elect Barack Obama held a news conference to announce key appointments to his economic team.

Wednesday he announced the creation of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which will be chaired by Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. The board’s main objective will be to provide him with outside guidance on revitalizing the nation’s troubled economy and calming its financial markets.

“People should understand that help is on the way and that everybody understands we’re going to be able to get through these economic times,” Obama said.

He added that an outside advisory board was needed because policymaking in Washington can “become a little bit too ingrown, too insular” and involve “group think.”

In addition, Obama also selected campaign policy adviser Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist, as the staff director and chief economist of the new advisory board. Obama also announced that he is nominating Goolsbee to his three-member Council of Economic Advisers.

The new board will initially operate for a two-year term, and its members will report directly to Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

“At this defining moment in our nation’s history, the old ways of thinking and the old ways of acting just won’t do,” Obama said Wednesday. “As we chart a course to economic recovery, we must ensure that our government, your government, is held accountable for delivering results.”

Goolsbee has been a longtime adviser to Obama, first assisting the Democrat on his 2004 campaign for the Illinois Senate seat.

Obama said he will be naming candidates for other key posts in his administration in the coming weeks, including Secretary of State and U.S. Attorney General.

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is reportedly Obama’s choice for Secretary of State, and former deputy attorney general Eric Holder Jr. is poised to be the nation’s first Black Attorney General.

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