Austan Goolsbee with President Obama in Chicago, Ill.
Austan Goolsbee with President Obama in Chicago, Ill. - 
Listen To The Story


BILL RADKE: Hey, there's a job opening at the White House and wait, no, hold on, it's already filled. Austan Goolsbee is expected to be named today top economic adviser to President Obama. Here to tell us more, Marketplace's Scott Tong is live in Washington. Hi Scott.

SCOTT TONG: Hey, good morning Bill.

RADKE: What does the head of the Council of Economic Advisers do?

TONG: The council is three economists who give "objective economic advice" -- that's the official description. So the head of the council is a leading economic voice inside the White House. Right now that's obviously a big deal because, as the president likes to say, jobs and recovery are the top priorities. All this week the administration's been rolling out new ideas, like spending on new roads and spurring business investment. We assume Austan Goolsbee's ideas are embedded in those plans -- he's already a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, which he is now going to head.

RADKE: What does Goolsbee bring to the job besides a cool name?

TONG: Goolsbee is 41 years old, he's a close friend of the president -- both taught at the University of Chicago. And despite the Chicago School's free-market reputation, Goolsbee's not considered a conservative economist. He's long opposed, for instance, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Mr. Goolsbee comes into a White House in personnel flux -- he replaces council head Christina Romer. And the top budget director Peter Orszag just departed. And by the way, Bill, Goolsbee does stand-up comedy and "The Daily Show" in case you're not into economic briefings.

RADKE: Yes, I believe I've seen that appearance. Marketplace's Scott Tong, thanks a lot.

TONG: You're welcome.