Obama Names Economic Recovery Advisory Board - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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Paul Volcker, left, pictured with President-Elect Barack Obama and Austan Goolsbee, a senior economic adviser to the Obama campaign, was named head of the newly created Economic Recovery Advisory Board during a news conference Wednesday.

As manufacturing reports show a drop in orders for durable goods, President-elect Barack Obama and his new Economic Recovery Advisory Board will have an uphill battle ahead of them.

Orders for durable goods dropped by 6.2% last month, more than double the 3% decline economists expected, the Department of Commerce reported today. Although the Labor Department reported that unemployment insurance claims have dropped unexpectedly to 3.96 million, down from the previous week’s 4.02 million (the highest level in 25 years), the slowdown in manufacturing has hit jobs hard.

Obama has been diligent in his promise to act swiftly and boldly on the nation’s economic problems. His assembling of a team of non-government affiliated advisors with a fresh perspective is how he plans to seek advice that is “candid and unsparing” in their assessment of his economic recovery plan.

“The reality is that sometimes policymaking in Washington can become too insular,” said Obama in today’s news conference. “Those who serve in Washington don’t always have a ground-level sense of which programs and policies are working for people, and which aren’t.”

The Economic Recovery Advisory Board will be modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to provide an independent voice on intelligence issues. The Board will be composed of distinguished individuals from diverse backgrounds outside of government —- from business, labor, academia, and other areas.

The first to step aboard Obama’s new team is former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker who will hopefully be able to provide insight on Obama’s plan to generate some 2.5 million jobs over the next two years. Volcker served as Fed chairman from 1979-1987 during Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan’s administrations, when inflation skyrocketed and unemployment rates were the highest they had been since the Great Depression. Last week, recessionary unemployment rates reached the levels from when Volcker was in office. He was a part of the team that helped the country recover from the steep recession of 1983 and may have some answers for Obama’s new economic team.

“At this defining moment for our nation, the old ways of thinking and acting just won’t do.  We are called to seek fresh thinking and bold new ideas from the leading minds across America,” Obama said . “And as we chart a course to economic recovery, we must ensure that our government — your government — is held accountable for delivering results.”

Along with Volcker, Obama also named University of Chicago economist and Obama policy adviser Austan Goolsbee to serve on the board today. Austan Goolsbee will serve as the panel’s staff director.

Volcker, Goolsbee and other board appointees will assist the new top notch team of economic advisors including, Timothy F. Geithner as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence Summers as director of

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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