Obama names Furman as new White House chief economist

Updated: 2013-06-11 09:45


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Furman's policy background contrasts with the academic background that many of his predecessors in the job have had. His appointment could signal a stronger role for the CEA within the administration.

Furman is currently assistant to the president for economic policy and principal deputy director of the White House National Economic Council (NEC), which is run by Gene Sperling, and was an economist in the Clinton administration.

When former NEC head Larry Summers left the administration at the end of 2010, Furman was considered a possible replacement, but the post went to Sperling.

The CEA advises the president on domestic and international economic policy based on data and economic research. The chairman is a cabinet member and requires Senate confirmation.

Obama urged the Senate to confirm Furman quickly.

The president also poked some fun at Krueger for his interest in the economics of rock and roll music.

"Now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his - 'Rockonomics,'" he said.

"This is something that Alan actually cares about - seriously, on Wednesday he's giving a speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's got a T-shirt under his suit with a big tongue sticking out," Obama said, prompting Krueger to unbutton his jacket and feign a move to undress in the White House state dining room.

"Don't show it," Obama urged, prompting laughter and applause from the audience.

And while Krueger may have an interest in popular music, the other economist the president named to serve on the CEA - the University of Michigan's Stevenson - has demonstrated a strong grasp of popular media. Stevenson has amassed more than 12,000 followers on Twitter with a stream of pithy remarks and is a frequent commentator on television, radio, and in print.


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