Barack Obama – Announces Leaders of Economic Recovery Advisory Board
Announces Economic Recovery Advisory Board Leadership
Delivered 26 November 2008, Chicago, Illinois
Good morning, everybody. Please have a seat.It has been increasingly clear in recent months — and we saw some additional reports this morning — that we’re facing an economic crisis of historic proportions. And at this defining moment in our nation’s history, the old ways of thinking and the old ways of acting just won’t do. We’re called to seek fresh thinking and bold new ideas from the leading minds across America. And as we chart a course to economic recovery, we must ensure that our government — your government — is held accountable for delivering results.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the formation of a new institution to help our economic team accomplish these goals: the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. This Board is modeled on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board created by President Eisenhower to provide rigorous analysis and vigorous oversight to our intelligence community by individuals outside of government — individuals who would be candid and unsparing in their assessment. This new Board will perform a similar function for my Administration as we formulate our economic policy.
The Board will be composed of distinguished individuals from diverse backgrounds outside of government — from business, labor, academia, and other areas — who will bring to bear their wisdom and expertise on the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of my Administration’s economic recovery plan. The Board will report regularly to me, Vice President-Elect Biden, and our economic team as we seek to jump-start economic growth, create jobs, raise wages, address our housing crisis, and stabilize our financial markets.
Let me speak to why I think this is necessary.
The reality is that sometimes policymaking in Washington can become a little bit too ingrown, a little bit too insular. The walls of the echo chamber can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking. You start engaging in groupthink. And those who serve in Washington don’t always have a ground-level sense of which programs and policies are working for people and businesses, and which aren’t. This Board will provide that fresh perspective to me and my Administration, with an infusion of ideas from across the country and from all sectors of our economy — input that will be informed by members’ first-hand observations of how our efforts are impacting the daily lives of our families.
I’m pleased to announce that this Board will be chaired by one of the world’s foremost economic policy experts, a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and one of my most trusted advisors, Paul Volcker.
Paul has been by my side throughout this campaign, providing a deep understanding of the financial markets, extensive experience managing economic crises, and keen insight into the global nature of this particular crisis. Paul has served under both Republicans and Democrats and is held in the highest esteem for his sound and independent judgment. He pulls no punches. He seems to be fairly opinionated. He has a long and distinguished record of service to our nation, and I am pleased that he has answered the call to serve once again.
I’m also happy to announce that Austan Goolsbee, another one of my key economic advisors, has agreed to serve as Staff Director and Chief Economist of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board and to act as the primary liaison between the Board and the Administration. I also plan to nominate Austan to serve as one of the three members of my Council of Economic Advisers.
Austan is one of America’s most promising economic minds, known for his path-breaking work on tax policy and industrial organization. He’s one of the economic thinkers who’s most shaped my own thinking on economic matters. He’s been a stalwart advisor for me since I ran for the United States Senate. I look forward to continuing our close collaboration in the White House.
I plan to announce the remaining members of the Economic Advisory — Economic Recovery Advisory Board in the coming weeks, and I look forward to their contributions to our urgent work to rebuild our economy and restore prosperity across America.
Last point I’d make about the Board — I’ll announce the particular members in the future, but I just want to be clear that this is going to be designed to make sure that everybody, that businesses across the board — whether it’s high tech or manufacturing, or old or new economy, labor, innovative thinkers who may not always subscribe to the conventional wisdom — that they are there to challenge some of our assumptions to make sure that we are not just doing the same old thing all the time. I can’t think of better people than Paul and Austan to help lead that Advisory Board.