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Obama's Economists Need to Be Near Perfect

The first 100 days of the Obama administration will be tumultuous as members of the new president's economic team inherits a difficult set of challenges -- the reformation of the financial system, a substantial stimulus package and a potential bailout for the U.S. auto industry, just to name a few.

How's that for a welcome to Washington? Between Jan. 20 and April 29, the 100-day mark, both President Obama and his advisers will be asked to tackle an economy in turmoil and a collapse in investor confidence that shows few signs of turning around.

President Obama's group, all of whom have made their mark on the U.S. economy in the past, will need to be the equivalent of economic superheroes to really fix what troubles America. But they must also reshape the view that Washington's regulators have failed to keep Main Street's best interests at heart.

Obama's picks to fill his top spots include names with strong economic experience and equally strong personalities. New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner was nominated to become Secretary of the Treasury. Former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers will become director of the National Economic Council. Paul Volcker, a former Fed chairman, will become the chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

"They're all top-caliber people, but of course that's no guarantee," said Mike Feroli, U.S. economist with JPMorgan. "You do have a lot of potential competition as you have several bright people. Whether that creates friction or not, who knows. They're equipped with the intellectual ability, if anyone is."
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