Who advises candidates on economic crisis?
Both pick mainstream experts, but Obama’s are more interventionist.
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McCain has tapped into the wisdom of people such as John Thain, the head of Merrill Lynch, and John Taylor, a Stanford University economist who developed the influential “Taylor rule” for setting central-bank interest rates at an appropriate level. In the early years of Mr. Bush’s presidency, he also served as undersecretary of Treasury for international affairs.Skip to next paragraph
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Such picks are designed both to reassure the voting public and to seek answers to a crisis that has defied solutions for more than a year, says Mr. Silvia, who is on the roster of economists who openly support McCain.
Teams share similarities
“The big difference between the groups [counseling McCain and Obama] is probably not what they do this week or next week,” says Timothy Taylor, managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives (no relation to John Taylor at Stanford).
He says either team is likely to focus on a quest already under way – using federal resources to help the banking system purge bad loans and rebuild reserves to revive normal lending.
“The big difference kicks in a year down the road when we confront the question of how are we going to reform our banking regulations to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” says Mr. Taylor, the managing editor, who is not advising a campaign.
He says the Republican advisers lean toward mandating more transparency and disclosure by financial firms, “but not necessarily a lot of rules.”
The Democratic advisers, by contrast, are prone to impose tighter limits on the risks that financial firms can take.
The contrast may be one of degree. “Both [candidates] have chosen smart mainstream people” for counsel, Taylor says.
In fact, the two policy teams have some significant similarities. Both include seasoned thinkers from universities or business.
Yet both also rely on young policy experts who are inclined toward the ideological center, and well versed in the ways of Washington despite their relative youth. In the McCain camp, the economic policy portfolio has rested heavily with Doug Holtz-Eakin, who was known as a nonpartisan straight shooter in making fiscal forecasts as head of the Congressional Budget Office.
Obama’s answer to Mr. Holtz-Eakin is Jason Furman, who worked under President Clinton. In recent years, he roiled some liberals by writing a positive assessment of Wal-Mart’s impact on the US economy.