Larry Summers, Obama’s Top Economic Advisor, Made Millions from Wall Street

Sunday, April 05, 2009
Larry Summers

President Barack Obama’s pledge not to hire lobbyists in his administration has not prevented potential conflicts-of-interest for some of his key advisers. Take, for instance, Lawrence Summers. As chairman of the National Economic Council, Summers is the president’s top economic adviser. Last year he reportedly earned more than $5 million from a hedge fund, D. E. Shaw, and collected another $2.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street companies that received government bailout money. Altogether, Summers made 40 paid appearances in 2008, including speeches to Goldman Sachs ($135,000), J. P. Morgan ($67,500), Citigroup ($45,000), and the now defunct Lehman Brothers ($67,500). A White House spokesman said the disclosures did not demonstrate a conflict of interest for Summers, the former president of Harvard and Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton, even though his role in the White House includes advising Obama on regulating hedge funds and dealing with the financial industry. Summers’ protégé, Timothy Geithner, is Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury.

Another member of the Obama administration, deputy national security advisor Thomas Donilon, earned $3.9 million as a partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, which represents both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Financial Industry Paid Millions to Obama Aide (by Jeff Zeleny, New York Times)


Leave a comment