Paul Volcker, a key economic advisor, who was federal reserve chairman under Ronald Reagan and broke the back of an inflation crisis in the early 1980s, could return briefly to his old post to try and stabilize the economy.
Investor Warren Buffett and Robert Rubin, a former Clinton treasury secretary, could also assume economic posts in an Obama White House.
Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois representative who served in the Clinton White House, is said to have been approached to be Mr. Obamaâ€™s chief of staff. Another possibility is Tom Daschle, the former U.S. senator for South Dakota.
Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Governor, and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts have been tipped for secretary of state, while Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican, is being touted for defense.
Mr. Obama is said to want to keep on Robert Gates, the current Defense Secretary, so he can supervise a troop withdrawal from Iraq, but Mr. Gates has apparently said he wants to retire.
Colin Powell, the former Bush secretary of state who endorsed Mr. Obama, could also be given a role as a special envoy in an Obama White house.