June 27, 2008 / 6:07 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: Barack Obama's top economic advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama takes advice from a wide range of economists, including some members of former President Bill Clinton’s economic braintrust.

Obama’s economic policy director Jason Furman says Obama, a Democrat who is running against Republican John McCain in the November election, has a pragmatic approach that does not lend itself to easy categorization on the left-right divide.

McCain’s allies are seeking paint Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal whose policies would thwart business growth.

Here is a list of some of Obama’s top economic advisers:

* AUSTAN GOOLSBEE - The University of Chicago economist is an expert on tax policy and has written extensively on the role of the Internet and technology in the economy. Though he is not on staff with the Obama campaign, he has been a major player in shaping the candidate’s economic plans. He sparked controversy in March after he met with Canadian officials. A leaked memo suggested Gooslbee played down Obama’s opposition to NAFTA. The Obama campaign said the memo was inaccurate.

* JASON FURMAN - Furman is Obama’s top campaign staff aide on economic policy. He was hired shortly after Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3. Furman was an aide in the Clinton White House and is a close associate of former Treasury Secretary Rubin through their work together on the Hamilton Project, a centrist research organization that promotes policies like free trade and fiscal discipline. Furman’s reputation as a backer of free trade has concerned some of Obama’s union supporters.

* DAN TARULLO - A professor at Georgetown University Law school, Tarullo is an expert on trade and international economics. He was a senior White House aide to Clinton and served as a “sherpa” to meetings of the Group of Eight industrialized economy meetings. In a June 9 CNN interview, Tarullo said Obama supports free trade but “he’s not for trade policies that don’t protect American workers.”

* LAURA TYSON - Tyson the former chairwoman of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and also served as his director of the National Economic Council. She is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and has only recently been tapped as a key adviser to Obama.

* PAUL VOLCKER - The former Federal Reserve chairman became a formidable figure in the financial world during the 1980s and is credited with breaking the back of double-digit inflation that marked the early part of the decade. He endorsed Obama in January and attended a March speech the Illinois senator gave in New York in which he called for an overhaul of U.S. financial regulations.

* JARED BERNSTEIN - Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, has written about income inequality and labor markets. His latest book is “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries).” He has called for increased bargaining power for workers.

* ROBERT REICH - Reich was Labor Secretary under Clinton and was seen as a more liberal counterweight to Robert Rubin. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

* PETER HENRY - An expert on emerging markets and the global economy, Henry teaches at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Editing by Caren Bohan

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