President Bush named investment banker Stephen Friedman chief of the National Economic Council Thursday, replacing Larry Lindsey as the administration's top economic adviser on the White House staff.
The announcement is the latest in a series of moves by the Bush economic team geared toward breathing life into the economy and restoring credibility to Wall Street amid a slew of corporate scandals. Friedman's appointment follows the proposed nomination of
Chief Executive John Snow to replace Paul O'Neill as Treasury secretary and the nomination of Wall Street executive William Donaldson to replace Harvey Pitt as chairman of the
Securities and Exchange Commission
Snow and Friedman are expected to finalize Bush's pro-growth plan that includes a lower tax burden on dividends, faster write-offs on business investments, expanded IRA and 401(k) accounts and an acceleration of last year's income-tax cut.
Friedman, a seasoned Wall Street veteran, served as co-chairman at Goldman Sachs, before resigning from his post in the Nineties. Some conservative members of the Republican party expressed displeasure with Friedman, according to CNN, saying they believe he may concern himself more with balancing the budget than with supporting Bush's imminent tax-cut package.