Saturday, April 04, 2009
What a surprise ... the top adviser in the Obama Administration on all matters economic was handsomely paid by a hedge fund last year and a highly compensated speaker at the behest of Goldman Sachs. The details are in this WSJ report:
Top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers received about $5.2 million over the past year in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from major financial institutions.You can be sure that he'll be "lookin' out for the little guy" when he deliberates on important matters such as whether or not he thinks its a good idea to send another couple hundred billion dollars northeast from Washington to Wall Street.
A financial disclosure form released by the White House Friday afternoon shows that Mr. Summers made frequent appearances before Wall Street firms including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. He also received significant income from Harvard University and from investments, the form shows.
It's natural to wonder if our new president is having any second thoughts about the team that he currently has in place - there's very little "change" likely to come about based on who's got their hands on the controls.
In total, Mr. Summers made a total of about 40 speaking appearances to financial sector firms and other places, with fees totaling about $2.77 million. Fees ranged from $10,000 for a Yale University speech to $135,000 for an appearance paid for by Goldman Sachs & Co.There's lots more interesting financial data about the White House staff (and even more ties to Goldman Sachs) in the rest of this story that is in the free area of the WSJ.
The disclosure -- in a financial report that is required for federal office holders -- comes as Mr. Summers is involved in shaping the Obama administration's policy decisions on the financial meltdown as well as the broader recession. Among the many decisions the economic team has wrestled with has been whether to step up regulation of hedge funds, one of the most contentious subjects during a summit of world leaders this week. European nations pushed for tougher rules, while the Obama administration preferred a less stringent approach.