WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed a "return to normalcy" in some sectors of the financial markets as he gathered a blue-chip board of independent financial advisors.
Obama met his 16-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board, headed by former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker, in a meeting concentrating largely on energy policy.
The president opened the talks, held in the White House and streamed live on the Internet, by stressing he wanted to move from tackling the depths of the crisis to building a sustainable economic model to head off future shocks.
"We're pleased that we've seen some progress, that there is some return to normalcy in certain aspects of the financial markets," Obama said.
"But obviously one of the things that I've been concerned about since I took office is looking beyond the immediate crisis in front of us to find out what is a sustainable economic model post-bubble and bust."
Obama set up the advisory board to provide him with advice independent of the counseling he gets from his top economic advisors, to ensure a flow of fresh ideas from outside his inner circle.
Volcker said after the meeting there had been "remarkable consensus" on the need to engineer the economy so it creates "green jobs" and new forms of energy generation.
Another board member, John Doerr, a prominent venture capitalist, warned the United States could not afford to get left behind in the chase for environmentally friendly technologies.
"What we need to do is generate great green jobs and make sure America leads in the new green economy," he said.
"We are in the race, but we are not at the head of the race."
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