Tuesday, November 25, 2008


As a quick aside, here are a few things to chew on regarding the Obama economic team:

1) Larry Summers: New head of the National Economic Council.  Honestly, who cares what position he has. He has emerged as probably the leading advisor to Obama on economic policy.  To illustrate this guys intellectual heft, let me paraphrase the comment made by one of my old graduate school advisors who knows Larry pretty well - "The single best thing I could do to further the study of economics would be to serve as Larry Summers' personal valet, so that Larry could spend more time thinking about economics."

2) Christina Romer: New head of the Council of Economic Advisors. I've met her very briefly, and my only reaction from that instance was that she seems like one of the least egotistical really great economists in the world. That said, she has every reason to be really egotistical.  Her work on monetary policy and history is considered top-flight, and she probably understands the ins and outs of U.S. government fiscal policy over the 20th century better than anyone (but she might be tied with her husband, David Romer). 

From my perspective, the best thing about both of them is that neither has every betrayed a sense of letting ideology stand in the way of sound economic reasoning.  In other words, they aren't just partisan hacks who have been smoking the supply-side trickle-down ganja so that Dick Cheney will hire them.  These are serious economists *first*, and Democratic partisans *second*.

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