WASHINGTON — Promising that "help is on the way" for the beleaguered U.S. economy, President-elect Barack Obama named former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to lead a new panel designed to help the incoming administration avoid economic "groupthink."

"Sometimes policymaking in Washington can become a little bit too ingrown, a little bit too insular," Obama told reporters at a press conference in Chicago. "The walls of the echo chamber can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking."

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