Saturday, April 4, 2009

Transparency Update


This is from Bloomberg:
"Lawrence Summers, director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, earned millions working at a hedge fund and speaking to banks such as Citigroup Inc. that later received taxpayer bailout money.
"Hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. paid Summers more than $5 million in salary and other compensation in the past 16 months, according to a financial disclosure form released by the White House yesterday. Summers served as a managing director at the New York-based firm. Summers, a former Treasury secretary, also earned more than $2.7 million in speaking fees.
"“There was considerable interest in hearing his economic insights,” said Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman. At the White House, Summers “has been at the forefront of this administration’s work to shore up our nation’s financial system and to put in place a regulatory framework that will strengthen the financial system,” LaBolt said.
"The disclosure statement for Summers and several other top administration officials illustrates the quandary Obama and his predecessors have faced in their personnel decisions because “powerful people are almost always also rich people” who have earned money from private interests, said Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
"Obama’s “choice going forward is to choose unknowns of modest means who may be less controversial in terms of their connections,” Schmidt said. “Except those people would be far less knowledgeable and thus less of an asset to fix these very same urgent problems.”"

ht/Hot Air

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