Economic Dream Team Machine

Can you build a team that will fix the American economy? Reuters Breakingviews editors have evaluated candidates for key economic positions in an Obama or Romney presidency and graded them in five categories with scores ranging from as low as one to as high as five depending on prior experience. Click on prospective candidates to learn more about them and see their scores and then drag and drop them onto the positions you want them to fill. As you make selections, each presidential candidate’s team total points are tallied through a sum of their scores in the five subject areas. When all the jobs are filled you'll see a total score for each candidate's team to see how they match up.  About | Read full article

About the Economic Dream Team Machine

What is the Economic Dream Team Machine?

It’s a Breakingviews application that lets readers formulate their own potential economic advisory teams for the next U.S. presidential administration, whether it’s another term for Barack Obama or a first term for Mitt Romney.

How do I choose nominees for each candidate’s potential team?

Breakingviews has populated the columns of either side of the page with prominent economic experts, business executives, politicians and academics and grouped them by political affiliation. While it is likely that each respective presidential candidate would pick advisors from within his own party, the machine allows you to mix and match Democrats and Republicans.

Choose possible team members for a position by dragging his or her thumbnail to one of the squares below each presidential candidate.

The slots include the most important economic advisory positions appointed by the president, including the Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the National Economic Council, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. We’ve also included a “wild card” slot, which could represent another top economic appointment, such as the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, Chairman of the Federal Reserve or a special post in the White House.

I changed my mind about a pick – how do I fix it?

You’ve got two options. Either tap the “x” in the upper left corner of a chosen pick’s picture or click the “Reset” button towards the top of the screen to clear all your choices and start over.

How does scoring work?

We have graded each candidate in five categories: Budgeting, Finance/Markets, Job Creation, Legislative and International. Scores range from as low as one to as high as five depending on prior experience.

For example, possible Republican pick Robert Zoellick is rated as a “5” in “International” because he served as World Bank President, U.S. Trade Representative, Deputy Secretary of State, and has expertise in national security. However, Zoellick receives a “2” in “Job Creation” since he has little experience as an entrepreneur, running a company or in academic labor economics.

As you make selections, each presidential candidate’s team is tallied through a simple sum of their scores in the five subject areas. A total score is shown for each candidate, and the five areas are shown separately in a bar chart that will populate once all eight slots are filled.

Who created these scores?

Scores are based on an assessment by Breakingviews columnists of the backgrounds of each nominee. We attempted to be as objective as possible!

How can I learn more about the backgrounds of the candidates?

Scroll over their rectangle in the nominee bank and you’ll see abbreviated resumes. Asterisks next to a job indicate a current position. You can also see scores in the information box.

Can I share the dream teams I create with my friends?

Yes! The top-right corner includes buttons to share your results on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+

Team Obama
Team Romney
Select picks for each candidate
for your Dream Team results!


Barack Obama

Presidential Nominee

Barack Obama Barack Obama
Mitt Romney Mitt Romney

Treasury Secretary

Treasury Secretary

This cabinet-level position, currently occupied by Timothy Geithner, directs every aspect of the U.S. Treasury. He or she helps the president to maintain a strong economy by promoting conditions that facilitate economic growth, overseeing financial stability, monitoring national financial security and managing the government’s accounts. A broad-based skill set is required, including extensive understanding of markets, budgeting and international affairs. The Treasury secretary must also advise on policies related to tax, housing, financial regulation and government debt. The secretary also chairs the Financial Stability Oversight Council.


National Economic
Council Director

National Economic Council Director

The National Economic Council Director acts as the president’s closest economic policy advisor. In that capacity, the president may shape the NEC in any way desired. For example, if the president is particularly concerned about unemployment, he might bring in a director with expertise geared specifically towards job creation. Traditionally, NEC directors - including present occupier of the position Gene Sperling - have played a significant role in budget discussions. The next director is likely to play a significant part in helping to craft and negotiate any deficit or tax reform deal.


Federal Reserve Chair

Federal Reserve Chair

The chairman of the central bank wears a number of hats. The most important is to direct U.S. monetary policy, as he or she resides over the Federal Open Market Committee. The FOMC decides how to best carry out the Fed’s dual mandate to pursue full employment and price stability. The chairman, currently Ben Bernanke, also oversees other Fed matters, such as financial stability and bank regulation.




Some possible other important economic posts could include director of the Office of Management and Budget or chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. The former helps to craft the president’s annual budget and would play a major role in any debt deal discussions, including formulation of policy and its implementation in Congress. The latter provides a more academic advisory role to help shape economic policy, such as which legislative changes might spur the most job creation and how different economic models predict various outcomes. Other economic appointments could include the president’s chief of staff or a special economic advisor, such as a “Budget Czar,” to lead a specific initiative.



Mitt Romney