HomeCBO Director: How Likely Is a US Debt Default?tbdCBO Director: How Likely Is a US Debt Default?

CBO Director: How Likely Is a US Debt Default?

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Congressional Budget Office head Douglas Elmendorf says the US “can’t afford to take the views of its creditors lightly” as it considers the “dangerous gamble” of government default. “Leaders of both political parties have made clear that defaulting on government obligations is not acceptable, and will not be allowed to happen,” he says.


Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf speaks with reporters at the Christian Science Monitor Breakfast. This program was recorded on June 14, 2011.

Douglas W. Elmendorf is the eighth Director of the Congressional Budget Office. His term began on January 22, 2009.

The Director of CBO oversees the agency’s work in providing objective, insightful, timely, and clearly presented information about budgetary and economic issues. The Director supervises the numerous analytical papers and cost estimates produced by the agency, and he testifies frequently before Congressional committees. In managing the agency, the Director is responsible for a staff of about 235 people and an annual budget of roughly $40 million.

Before he came to CBO, Doug Elmendorf was a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. As the Edward M. Bernstein Scholar, he served as coeditor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and the director of the Hamilton Project, an initiative to promote broadly shared economic growth.

Doug Elmendorf was previously an assistant professor at Harvard University, a principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, a deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, and an assistant director of the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board. In those positions, he worked on budget policy, Social Security, Medicare, national health care reform, financial markets, macroeconomic analysis and forecasting, and other topics. He earned his Ph.D. and A.M. in economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow, and his A.B. summa cum laude from Princeton University.


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