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On the rise: Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

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The current economic landscape is not a hospitable one for the White House. Its key features are a lingering jobs crisis, painfully slow growth and mounting federal debt. Advising the president on the economy is never easy, and it's particularly tough right now. So it was significant that Jason Furman was almost universally regarded as the right man for the job. President Obama last week...