National Economic Council, Berry Renolds, Bloomberg Radio discussed on Masters in Business


In business with berry renolds on bloomberg radio this week. I have an extra special guest. His name is brian. He is the director of the national economic council at the white house and essentially the chief economic advisor to president biden previously. He was the global head of sustainable investing at black rock. And he was president obama's senior adviser for climate and energy policy. Brian deese welcome back to masters in business. Thanks very it's great to be here. So so let's start with your role. In this new administration you are the thirteenth director of the national economic council. I think most people are more familiar with the council of economic advisers. Tell us a little bit about this group. What it does and how it differs from the ca. So the key. The national council was created by executive order in the early nineteen nineties with the goal of having a white house entity that could coordinate economic policy on behalf of the president the Some people think about the way. But i think the more natural analogue is the national security council so the national security council existed in the white house as a way of coordinating policy on national security and foreign policy issues. The national economic council was modeled to do the same for For both domestic and international economic priorities. So if you go back and you read the executive order that was created in the early nineteen nineties if holds pretty true today. So what does that mean number. One how they see Effective way to coordinate and aggregates abuse of all of the key economic policy principals. The secretary of the treasury the chair. The council economic advisers are commerce secretary labor secretary And down the line create common table around which we can debate and discuss and provide the president queer policy recommendations and clear economic advice and at the same time have a coordinated way to take direction from the president about his views at his His direction on the economy and drive across a broad interagency of the executive branch. You to your question. About the council of economic advisers the council's economic advisers is designed as a mostly an internal think tank of economists and experts. Many of whom come out of academia and spend one or two years at the council and provide a an analytical base and economic base to think through issues do provide analysis And really kind of a thought center like counselors really designed to coordinate bringing those views to the table but also Connecting them to the legislative and political realities that we're operating in to try to get the best outcomes possible and services the presence goals so so let's talk a little bit about Your boss the president and some of his goals last week. He signed an executive order to quote promote competition in the american economy. We've kind of become used to these sort of one. Pager photo ops for executive orders but that was not what this was it. It's a seven thousand word. Seventy two bullet point document and and it's very serious policy initiative. Tell us what was the thinking behind rolling out this new policy this way. Well i appreciate you counting words and actions that because we we're certainly focused On that as well. We're really excited about this executive order and it's based on a kind of very simple but important intuition which is that having fair and open. Competition is a fundable fundamental ingredient of a healthy capitalist economy. It's what actually drives better outcomes. Lower prices higher wages more innovation more economic growth and so the core goal of this executive order is to reset across the entire executive branch of focus on wearing in. What ways can we encourage healthy competition in service of achieving those outcomes lower prices higher wages more innovation. And what we've seen across time is that Our economy has gotten less competitive We have a larger number of our industries that are now more concentrated than they were. Twenty or thirty years ago we've seen the rate of new business formation particularly small business fall formation fall by almost fifty percent Since the nineteen seventies. and if you look across industries whether it's you know in in meat-packing or in broadband internet Consumers choices have been constrained. And we haven't seen that kind of the follow through benefit that at least has been argued by folks who say you know. More consolidation will actually generate lower prices for consumers. We haven't seen that either. In fact if you aggregate up the impact of consolidation to an american household in terms of prices and wages And other attendant costs you know. The best estimates are that it's costing about five thousand dollars a year for the typical household so the goal of this executive orders to say. How can we start to get at that. And fundamentally this is this is this is not about being pro business or any businesses about being pro competition. A lot of the ideas in this executive order are actually deregulatory in nature trying to remove some barriers to entry that actually keep workers For more effectively moving and competing for jobs or new businesses to enter into new markets and grow and gain market share a assault. So that's the that's that's the high level that's our goal but you're right We wanted to take a really serious effort to go agency by agency and look where where the challenges. What are the tools that we have. And how can we advance the ball. It looks different in different agencies. There's a lot To unpack here. But that's the goal to tell you. That's shocking number. The lack of competition caused by industry. Consolidation and concentration cost the average american family. Five thousand dollars a year that that's a giant number when you when you just down you know. That's that's a if you you know. But i also would say embedded in that is a big opportunity because if we can actually break down some of those barriers and we can encourage competition. What that means is that we have a way of Actually boosting economic outcomes for the typical family in a significant way. But that sounds pretty esoteric. But you break it down into very practical things Something like hearing today. You need to get a prescription. Do you need to go to a.

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