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Sprinkel Expected to Stay as Top Economic Adviser

October 29, 1987

The White House is expected to announce today that Beryl W. Sprinkel, the president's top economic adviser, will remain as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers through next year, Administration sources said Wednesday.

"He has been asked and is trying to accommodate the request," said Margot Machol, Sprinkel's chief aide. She said she believed that he would remain in the position because "when the president puts pressure on you, it's hard to say no."

She said she expected an announcement by the end of the week, possibly today.

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the request to Sprinkel was linked to the recent turbulence in the financial markets.

"We have talked to him about when he would leave in terms of recent stock market activity and its impact on the economy," Fitzwater said. "There is a chance he might stay longer, but I don't think it has been decided how long."

The Administration sources said Sprinkel had been asked to stay on an open-ended basis and was unlikely to remain in the White House post until President Reagan's term expires in January, 1989.

Sprinkel, 63, had said Sept. 18 that he planned to leave in late November to return to Chicago and resume a career in private industry. He is a former bank economist from Chicago.

An Administration official, speaking on the condition that he not be identified, said Sprinkel had advised the White House informally that he wanted to remain.

"I understand he wants to do that," the official said. He said Sprinkel had not submitted any formal notification because he wanted first to straighten out matters relating to plans he had made for his future after leaving government.

Sprinkel decided to leave the White House staff when Reagan passed him over and named Alan S. Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, replacing Paul A. Volcker.

Since Oct. 19 on Wall Street, when the stock market dropped 508 points, Sprinkel has been active in the coterie of presidential advisers who have been urging Reagan to take action against the budget deficit. He has been on the negotiating team with Congress, backing White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker and Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III.

Over the weekend, he appeared on numerous television interview shows, portraying Reagan as eager to cooperate with the Congress on a plan to pare the federal budget deficit.

By contrast, other Administration economic policy-makers such as Treasury Secretary Baker and White House Office of Management and Budget Director James Miller kept a low profile over the weekend.

A successor to Sprinkel as the council's chairman had never been announced by the White House. Michael J. Boskin, Wohlford Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a member of The Times' Board of Economists, however, had been mentioned as a candidate.

A free-market theorist, Sprinkel was an economist at the Harris Bank and Trust Co. in Chicago before being named Under Secretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs in 1981 and to the Council in 1985, where he succeeded Martin Feldstein.

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