March 15, 2009 / 1:40 PM / 11 years ago

Goolsbee sees private money helping U.S. banks

University of Chicago economist and U.S. PresidentBarack Obama's policy adviser Austan Goolsbee is seen during a news conference in Chicago November 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration expects private capital to bolster government funds to help the recovery of U.S. banks, Austan Goolsbee, a key adviser to the Democratic president, said Sunday.

Goolsbee also said every effort must be made this year to keep the U.S. unemployment rate, now at about 8 percent, from ballooning into double digits.

“Stress tests” for banks, being done to assess their ability to cope with a deepening economic crisis, “cannot be rushed out,” told the “Fox News Sunday” program.

President Barack Obama’s administration is “open to all ideas” for healthcare reform, including the taxing of workers’ health benefits but “that is not in the president’s budget,” Goolsbee said.

Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economics professor and an expert on tax policy and Internet commerce, is a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Reporting by John O'Callaghan and Phil Barbara; Editing by Bill Trott

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