Nov 26, 2008

World - US;Volcker to head new economy panel;report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker will chair a new economic advisory panel created by President-elect Barack Obama and designed to stabilize financial markets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Quoting Democratic officials, the newspaper reported on its Web site that University of Chicago economist and Obama policy adviser Austan Goolsbee will serve as the panel's staff director.

Members of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board will come from a cross-section of citizens outside the government, the Journal said.

The board is not meant to supplant the policymaking role of the Treasury Department and other agencies, but to provide the new president expert advice outside the normal bureaucratic channels, according to the paper.

The panel will have several jobs, the paper said, including: helping design and implement programs to jump-start the economy; raising wages and living standards; and confronting the housing crisis. It will also address oversight of the financial markets after a Wall Street collapse that has taken down many of its most venerable institutions, the Journal reported.

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