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Paul W. McCracken

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The Presidential historical materials of Paul W. McCracken are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify personal and private materials (including materials outside the date span covered by the act) as well as nonhistorical items. These materials have been returned to the individual who has primary proprietary interest.

Materials covered by the Act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (GSA Form 7279 or NA Form 14021) with a description of each restricted document has been inserted at the beginning of each folder from which materials have been removed. A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be declassified under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:   56.28
  • Approximate number of pages:   107,200

Biographical Note

December 29, 1915 Born in Richland, Iowa

1937 William Penn College, Oskaloosa, Iowa

1942 M.A. degree, Harvard University (Economics)

May 27, 1942 Married Emily Ruth Siler

1942-1943 Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

1943-1948 Financial Economist and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

1948 Ph.D. degree, Harvard University (Economics)

1948-1950 Associate Professor, School of Business Administration, University of Michigan

1950-1965 Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Michigan

1966-1969 On leave from University as Member, Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)

1969-1971 Chairman, CEA

1971- Edmund Ezra Day University Profess of Business Administration, University of Michigan

1981-1986 President's Advisory Board on Economic Policy

Scope and Content Note

The son of an Iowa farmer, Paul McCracken was appointed by President Nixon as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in December 1968. Dr. McCracken served as Chairman for two full calendar years, 1969-1971. His colleagues on the Council were Hendrik S. Houthakker, Herbert Stein, and Ezra Solomon. In his approach to national economic policy, Dr. McCracken displayed pragmatism and moderation, often characterized as gradualism. He once described himself as "Friedmanesque," after Milton Friedman, a University of Chicago theorist.

As Chairman of the CEA, McCracken pursued economic policies of restraint to curb inflation, the nation's primary economic problem, without increasing unemployment. He opposed a revival of mandatory wage and price controls, favored by former CEA Chairman Arthur Okum and other economists. McCracken often appeared in conflict with the Federal Reserve respecting monetary policy, favoring a more liberal policy than the Federal Reserve had been willing to allow. On the inflation front, McCracken instituted a series of "inflation alerts" - the first in August 1970, followed by a second alert in December 1970, and the third in April 1971. McCracken insisted that these alerts were only intended to be informative, and hoped they would "lift the level of visibility and understanding and awareness of these complex developments in the price-cost area", and help form public policy. He was instrumental in getting President Nixon to institute a new economic program--announced August 15, 1971. This new economic program took the form of a temporary 90-day wage-price freeze, followed by the creation of a Cost of Living Council to oversee the freeze. On November 27, 1971, McCracken submitted his resignation to the President, effective January 1, 1972.

The files are arranged in eight different series that reflect McCracken's position on the Administration's "Troika" team, with Secretary of the Treasury David Kennedy, and OMB Director Robert Mayo. The series comprise the following: Meetings Files; Memoranda Files; Correspondence Files; Subject Files; Appointments and Telephone Messages; Invitations Declined; Press Statements and Speeches; and Newsclippings and Publications. The Meetings Files are divided into five subseries: Presidential Meetings; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economic Policy Committee Meetings; International Monetary Fund (IMF) Meetings; Joint U.S.-Japan Cabinet Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs Meetings; and Paul McCracken Meetings. The first subseries is arranged chronologically by title and then by date; the remainder are arranged chronologically by date. The Memoranda Files are divided into four subseries: Memos for the President, arranged chronologically by date; White House Action Memos, arranged by title; White House Staff Memos; and CEA Staff Memos. The last two subseries are arranged alphabetically by name of staff member. The Correspondence Files comprise three subseries: Chronological File, arranged by date; Chronological Correspondence, arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent; and Agency Correspondence, arranged alphabetically by name of agency. The Subject Files are arranged alphabetically by subject. The Appointments and Telephone Messages, and Invitations Declined files are arranged chronologically by date. The Press Statements and Speeches file is arranged generally by title and then by date. Newsclippings and Publications file is arranged alphabetically by title.

Major correspondents and personalities that figure prominently in the files include: David M. Kennedy; Arthur F. Burns; William McChesney Martin; Herbert Stein; Maurice H. Stans; George P. Shultz; Robert P. Mayo; John C. Whitakker; Peter M. Flanigan; Daniel P. Moynihan; Hendrik S. Houthakker; Donald B. Rice; George A. Lincoln; Kenneth R. Cole, Jr.; Julius Shiskin; John N. Nassikas; Arnold R. Weber; John D. Ehrlichman; Peter P. Peterson; and James D. Hodgson.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-39
Series:   Meetings Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1968 (1969)-1971
Description:   Correspondence, drafts, memoranda, agendas, handwritten notes, papers, reports, invitations, transcripts, messages, press releases, graphs, charts and tables, cables/telegrams, printed materials, photos, sound recordings, and newspaper clippings. This series is divided into five subseries: Presidential Meetings (boxes 1-3), arranged alphabetically by title and then by date; OECD Economic Policy Committee Meetings (boxes 3-8); IMF Meetings (boxes 8-10); Joint U.S.-Japan Cabinet Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs Meetings (boxes 10-12); and Paul McCracken Meetings (boxes 12-39). These files are arranged chronologically by date. Topics covered in the Presidential Meetings files include: economic outlook; budget; cabinet meetings; incomes policy; inflation; economic policy; GDP; international monetary system; consumer price index (CPI); energy; proposed Federal Financing Bank; and depreciation policy.

OECD Economic Policy Committee Meetings topics include: U.S. economy; Economic Policy Committee objectives/policies; inflation; OECD labor/manpower policy; German economy; U.K. economy; and U.S. balance of payments. IMF Meetings topics include: administration's anti-inflation program; and the international monetary system. Joint U.S.-Japan Cabinet Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs Meetings topics include: Japanese exports to the U.S.; Japan economy; U.S. economy; U.S.-Japan economic relations; trade; U.S. balance of payments; and U.S.-Japan Economic Council.

Paul McCracken Meetings Files topics include: economic policy; economy; balance of payments; European investment in the U.S.; U.S. direct investment in Europe; labor relations; economic development in Western Europe; monetary policy; GNP; interest rates; Canadian economy; unemployment; Japanese economy; CPI; construction-labor costs increases; U.S.-Japan economic relations; steel industry; imports; Federal facilities in rural areas; rural economic development programs; energy; foreign economic policy; international monetary policy; fuel supply; Federal property; transportation deregulation; budget; Small Business Economic Council; farm credit system; proposed synthetic fuels corp.; President's new economic policy; wholesale price index (WPI); and Phase II.

Boxes:   40-64
Series:   Memoranda Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1961 (1969)-1971
Description:   Correspondence, drafts, memoranda, handwritten notes, telegrams/cables, papers, tables, charts and graphs, press releases, reports, and printed materials. This series is divided into four subseries: Memos of the President (boxes 40-43), arranged chronologically by date; White House Action Memos (boxes 43-44), arranged alphabetically by title; White House Staff Memos (boxes 44-53), arranged alphabetically by name; and CEA Staff Memos (boxes 53-64), arranged alphabetically by name. Topics covered in the Memos for the President subseries include: international monetary system; spending on defense and space programs; economic indicators; economic/monetary policy; Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy; CPI; U.S. trade policy; income maintenance; proposed message on unemployment insurance system; welfare reform; international grains agreement; tax reform; meat imports; GNP; budget policy; oil import controls; export expansion; President's economic program; international economic policies; employment; and consumer sentiment. Some clusters of materials are dated 1961.

White House Action Memos topics include: economic philosophy of Nixon Administration; unemployment insurance system; control of government expenditures; inflation; equal employment opportunity (EEO); President's report on U.S. foreign policy for the 1970's; and government patent policy. White House Staff Memos topics include: economic policy; trade policy; inflation; inner cities; unemployment; transportation; environment; antitrust policy; energy; financial institutions; Federal fiscal policy; economy; balance of payments; interest rates; international economic policy; international monetary policy; depletion and tax treatment of mineral industry; President's draft message on Comprehensive Manpower Act; OMB report on international transactions of Federal Government; President's report to Congress on antidumping; Presidential control of budget; international air transportation policy; tax on leaded gasoline; wages; GNP; pollution control; wheat program; tax reform; economic indicators; Ash Council recommendations on regulatory agencies; possible business loan guarantee program; small business; oil and gas imports; wage-price controls; research and development; urban policy; welfare reform; higher education; food prices; and national growth policy.

CEA Memos subseries topics include: inflation; economic outlook; monetary policy; GNP projections; interest rates; economic models; liquidity/debt burden; money supply; consumer prices; farm legislation; economic policy; wholesale prices; unemployment; David-Bacon Act and labor costs; economic indicators; auto sales; international monetary system; imports; economic development programs; Michael Boretsky's "Technological Base of Soviet Military Power"; wage-price controls; housing; employment; research and development; manpower programs; labor market; health care services; natural gas; energy; oil and gas imports; collective bargaining agreements; exchange rates; balance of payments; steel imports; textiles; WPI; log exports; lumber and plywood supplies; gasoline prices; commodity stockpiles; construction; Clean Air Act; international environmental agreements; surface transportation; Amtrak; Jones Act; generalized tariff preferences; investment tax credit; grain and wheat exports; dairy imports; export subsidies; farm legislation; truck/freight rate increases; and transportation mergers.

Boxes:   64-86
Series:   Correspondence Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Correspondence, drafts memoranda, handwritten notes, papers, charts and graphs, statements, reports, press releases, telegrams/cables, newspaper clippings, and printed materials. This series is divided into three subseries: Chronological File (boxes 64-69), arranged by date; Congressional Correspondence (boxes 69-72), arranged alphabetically by name; and Agency Correspondence (boxes 73-86), arranged alphabetically by name. Chronological File topics include: economy; economic policy; inflation; lumber prices; monetary and financial policy; interest rates; wage-price controls; investment tax credit; construction industry; stock market; union wage settlements; steel prices; meat prices; cost of living; housing; import restrictions on petrochemicals; steel scrap exports; unemployment; productivity; and fuel supplies.

Congressional Correspondence topics include: Phase II; administration's economic policy; monetary and fiscal policy; oil imports; fuel supply; inflation; wage settlements in construction industry; wage-price controls; GNP; task force on uranium enriching facilities; interest rates; credit controls; lumber and plywood prices; steel industry; and energy. Agency Correspondence topics include: sugar; meat imports; agriculture policy; energy policy; budget; CPI; economic statements; economic policy; GNP; pollution control; foreign direct investment program (FDIP); trade; economy; inflation; unemployment; environment; exports; monetary policy; balance of payments; urban growth policy; housing; construction; oil and gas leases; trans-Alaska pipeline; offshore oil; civil disturbances; law enforcement; antitrust policies; economic indicators; employment; oil imports; fuel supply; capital spending; airline mergers; and SST.

Boxes:   87-123
Series:   Subject Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Correspondence, drafts, memoranda, handwritten notes, reports, photos, papers, charts, tables, graphs, statements, maps, telegrams and cables, press releases, newspaper clippings, and printed materials. Topics covered include: wage-price controls; independent regulatory agencies; construction industry wage settlements; inflation; housing; construction statistics; economic policy; Federal statistical program; agriculture; CPI; oil imports; antitrust policy; copper; monetary and fiscal policy; surface freight transportation deregulation; softwood lumber and plywood; steel industry; prices and incomes policy; dividends; international monetary system; environment; revenue sharing; health care; energy; conservation; nuclear breeder reactor; air pollution; research and development; petrochemicals; crude oil/gasoline price increases; fuel supplies; welfare program/system; balance of payments; productivity; taxes; textile imports; SST; and models cities program. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Boxes:   124-125
Series:   Appointments and Telephone Messages | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Correspondence, memoranda, handwritten notes, invitations, schedules, and printed material. Arranged chronologically by date.

Boxes:   130-133
Series:   Press Statements and Speeches | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Correspondence, drafts, messages, handwritten notes, press releases, and printed materials. Topics include: inflation; economy; economic policy; unemployment insurance; tax reform; economic development; interest rates; budget; food prices; housing; GNP; CPI; health care; and proposed legislation. Arranged generally by title and then by date.

Boxes:   133-134
Series:   Newsclippings and Publications | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Correspondence, newsclippings, and printed materials. Arranged alphabetically by title.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.

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