Glamis says Goldcorp was first to suggest combining the companies

Section:

Fed Governor Would Chair
President's Economic Council

By Nell Henderson
Washington Post
Friday, December 17, 2004

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6001-2004Dec16.html

The White House, seeking a strong economic team
to craft and sell key features of its second-term
agenda, is considering appointing Federal Reserve
Board member Ben S. Bernanke to be chairman
of the president's Council of Economic Advisers,
officials confirmed yesterday.

Bernanke, 51, former chairman of Princeton
University's economics department, would succeed
N. Gregory Mankiw, who is on leave from Harvard
University and expected to return there early next
year.

One administration aide, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity, cautioned that the process is at an
early stage. The Fed and Bernanke declined to
comment on the possibility, which was reported
in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. A White
House spokeswoman also declined to comment on
speculation about Mankiw's successor, noting that
he has not yet resigned.

Bush appointed Bernanke to the Fed two years ago.
The highly regarded economist has focused most
of his research on monetary policy -- adjusting the
money supply through the availability of credit,
which in turn affects the rates of inflation and
economic growth.

His speeches and research since joining the Fed
also have addressed primarily the topics of
monetary policy and the economy in general.
They have not touched the politically controversial
subjects of changing the tax code and Social
Security, the issues that are Bush's second-term
focal points.

If appointed, Bernanke would be one of the top
officials involved in explaining and selling the
president's economic policies to Congress, Wall
Street, and the media.

Bernanke has developed a reputation at the Fed
as a good communicator of the central bank's
thinking and policy, an analyst said.

On Wall Street, Bernanke would "be viewed as a
very credible person to take on the role of one of
the administration's chief economic spokesmen,"
said William Dudley, chief economist at Goldman
Sachs U.S. Economics Research.

The job of CEA chairman has varied in influence
over the decades, depending on the nature of the
White House and the economist in the job.

R. Glenn Hubbard, the first CEA chairman under
Bush, was perceived as having significant influence
on the president's tax cut proposals. But Mankiw
has served in a position that appeared somewhat
sidelined over the past two years.

Bernanke is largely untried in the political arena.
Fed officials do not hold news conferences. And
aside from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who
is regularly questioned by Congress on a variety
of topics, Fed policymakers generally speak on
the topics they choose in front of the audiences
they select.

If successful in the CEA role, some observers
speculated, Bernanke could boost his chances of
succeeding Greenspan, who has indicated he
will step down when his board term expires
Jan. 31, 2006.

Two of the top contenders for Greenspan's job
are former CEA chairmen: Hubbard and Harvard
University economist Martin Feldstein, who held
the job under President Ronald Reagan.

Greenspan was CEA chairman under President
Gerald R. Ford.

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