Christina Romer

August 6, 2010 by staff 

Christina RomerChristina Romer, (Washington Post) — Christina Romer chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has resigned his post to return to his old job as professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, said the White House on Thursday. His resignation is effective 03 September.

President Obama said in a statement that the Romer decision was guided by “family commitments.” Romer has pointed out that his long stay in Washington would be temporary, her husband, the economist David Romer, has been sidelined since his own place in Berkeley and his teenage son is due to start high school in the fall.

Romer also considered a serious candidate to replace Janet Yellen, as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, one of the most important jobs in the Federal Reserve System. Yellen was recently named vice president of the Federal Reserve.

Romer, 51, is one of the leading scholars of the nation’s macroeconomic history and an expert on the Great Depression. She was tapped by Obama to serve as chief economist at the White House in November 2008 as the new president was to develop a response to a global economic panic.

Romer was instrumental in developing and 862 billion economic stimulus package Obama signed shortly after being sworn into office. She co-wrote an article providing for the encouragement prevent unemployment rates rise above 8 percent, a position that has been criticized by Republicans who called the package a failure. While most economists say that the stimulus helped prevent a more severe economic crisis, the unemployment rate has hovered around 10 percent and Romer latest forecast predicts that it will not drop below 8 percent until the end of 2012.

Respected by his colleagues of his administration and the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, however, Romer was frustrated by life in Washington, according to administration sources. After winning quick approval of the stimulus, the administration struggled to push initiatives through a reluctant Congress and an increased concern about mounting deficits.

This year, Romer emerged as a strong proponent of additional federal spending to stimulate a slow recovery. But his main priority, to preserve state aid and other teaching jobs in the public sector, it languished for months on Capitol Hill. Cut more than half, won Senate approval on Thursday and heads to the final approval next week in the House.

Obama and his chief economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, Romer praised on Thursday and said it would continue to serve the administration as a member of the Advisory Council on Economic Recovery, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

“Christy Romer has provided extraordinary service to me and our country during a time of economic crisis and recovery,” Obama said in a statement. “The challenges facing Christy demanded more than any of his predecessors, and I appreciated very much and appreciate his skill, commitment and wise counsel.”

Summers added: “Christy has been an extraordinary friend and colleague in the White House. Since jobs and health care recovery and financial reform, which has been central to everything the administration has done in the economic field. ”

It was not immediately clear who would replace Romer. White house named Austan Goolsbee observers, member of the Council of Economic Advisers, an obvious choice, but that would leave Obama without a woman in his senior economic team.

Romer said in a statement it expects to return to teaching, but asked Obama to serve “the honor of a lifetime.”

“The opportunity to help shape economic policy over the past 20 months, and work with other members of the economic team and my colleagues from the CEA, is one that always treasure,” he said.

Staff writer Neil Irwin contributed to this report.

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