View Full Version : Another one bites dust. Summers Stepping Down.

09-21-2010, 05:30 PM

By Caren Bohan and Ross Colvin

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Brilliant but blunt-spoken White House economic adviser Larry Summers said on Tuesday he will leave his job, marking a major staff shake-up for President Barack Obama as he faces growing pressure to revive the sluggish economy.

Summers, a former Treasury secretary who had grappled with the Mexican peso crisis and other global financial problems in the 1990s, brought years of experience in economic policymaking to his job as director of the White House National Economic Council. Those close to Obama said the president relied heavily on Summers' advice during the depths of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

But Summers, who will return to his teaching job at Harvard University by the end of the year, has been criticized by some liberal Democrats as too close to Wall Street. There were also a number of reports of clashes on the economic team within the White House.

The move comes as analysts say Obama needs to signal a fresh course on the economy, with confidence in his leadership on the issue slumping amid predictions of steep losses for his Democratic allies in the Nov. 2 congressional elections.

Obama's poll numbers on economic leadership are particularly low, as unemployment seems stuck above 9 percent.

Obama is seen as highly likely to tap someone from outside the administration to fill Summers' job, with some saying he should look at business people as potential candidates. He has been criticized for having few people with that background in the administration's senior ranks.

Laura Tyson, a former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, is among those who have been mentioned for the job.


Summers will be the third high-ranking economic official to depart, leaving Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as the sole senior member of that team still in his original job.

White House budget director Peter Orszag stepped down in July and White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman, Christina Romer left her job at the beginning of this month.

Summers said in a statement released by the White House that he was "looking forward to returning to Harvard to teach and write" about the economy and finance.

Obama credited Summers with having helped to guide the country "from the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s to renewed growth."

He said he would continue to seek Summers' "advice and his counsel on an informal basis."

Summers will serve on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, a panel of outside experts led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

Those who know Summers had long said he was unlikely to stay in his job for more than two years.

"Last fall, the president asked Larry to stay through 2010 in order to see through the passage of financial reform and the continued implementation of the economic recovery program this announcement is part of a long-standing plan to return to Harvard," said a senior administration official.

Summers had been mentioned as a possible candidate for Federal Reserve chairman but Obama instead decided to keep on Fed chief Ben Bernanke, who had originally been nominated by President George W. Bush. (Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Ross Colvin; Editing by Philip Barbara)

09-21-2010, 10:24 PM
Look for a lot of resignations in the next 4 months. Some will be voluntary before the election, and some will be forced out after the Dems' fall from grace.


09-21-2010, 11:51 PM
Elizabeth Warren to Be Obama's New Czar

That's the last person whom I expected to join Obama's cadre of czars, but there she is, quite happily, it sounds like.

Elizabeth Warren gets the job of shaping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she first proposed (9/17/2010 Cleveland.com)

But her capacity is not that of the bureau director, which requires the formal nomination and the Senate confirmation. Instead, she has become one of Obama's czars:

"the White House is naming Warren an assistant to the President and special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner"

Assistant to the Prez? Special advisor to Timmy?

The Obama White House didn't even try to formally nominate her or make a recess appointment. Instead, Obama has named her as his assistant, personally responsible to him only, to shape this agency which is supposed to protect consumer (hahahahaha).

I am not sure if this nebulous, sprawling financial reform law (Dodd-Frank bill) even allows the White House to shape the agency like this. (By the way, this agency is to be housed within the Federal Reserve, a private entity which is now known for wrecking havoc by causing boom and bust throughout its existence. Isn't that comforting.)

Ms. Warren, welcome to my list of Obama Czars. I am disappointed, but not surprised. After all, a Harvard Law professor who believes in the power and authority of the government to "do the right thing" is expected to happily work with the government. When this agency fails to "protect", she and her cohorts have this timeless excuse to make: "Oh we meant well.... Who could have known?"

09-22-2010, 07:20 AM
Rahm next?


09-22-2010, 07:24 AM
Creating another new government agency. I'm sure we will be told that the new agency isn't going to cost the taxpayers any money, and will, in fact, help reduce the defecit!


And they scratch their collective little heads and wonder why the American public is fed up with them.

People are screaming for smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced spending, and Obama decides all on his own to do just the opposite!