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Geithner headlines Obama’s economic team of familiar faces

The New York Fed president is known for his insights on ‘90s international crises.

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President-elect Obama’s new economic team may represent continuity as much as change.

True, Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner is only 47, and looks younger. But he’s served as a high-ranking US official for years, and as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York he’s helped shape the Bush administration’s current financial rescue efforts.

Lawrence Summers, set to advise Mr. Obama from inside the White House as head of the National Economic Council, was a Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton. The probable new budget chief, Peter Orszag, already runs the Congressional Budget Office.

To some critics, this trio may not look like the radical break from past politics that candidate Obama promised. But at a time when the US economy is as fragile as it has been in a generation, in a bid to calm markets the president-elect appears to have opted for known figures respected by both parties.

“If ever there was a time for bipartisanship in the transition of power in Washington, this is that time,” concluded a Nov. 21 analysis of the US economy from Goldman Sachs.

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