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Second Obama economic adviser resigns

Fri., Aug. 6, 2010


WASHINGTON – Christina Romer, an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, announced her resignation Thursday night, the second top White House economic official to step down.

Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said she would leave on Sept. 3 and return to her job as an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Romer had clashed with Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers, over her access to the president, though administration officials said she was not leaving because of any personality conflict or policy differences.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama said Romer had made it clear early on that she wanted to return to California, where her son is to begin high school in the fall.

She is considered a possible candidate for president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Romer’s expertise in the Great Depression made her a compelling figure when she joined the administration. Steeped in U.S. economic history, she was cast as someone who knew how to navigate a recession. What she couldn’t always navigate was bureaucratic infighting.

Romer’s announcement comes one week after the departure of Peter Orszag as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Together with Summers and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the four were the nucleus of an economic team the president had tried to keep intact.

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