Larry Summers to Step Down as White House Economic Adviser

Lawrence Summers, Larry Summers, Lawrence Summers, the brilliant but irascible economist, is expected to step down from his role as President Obama's National Economic Council director and return to Harvard University after the midterm elections in November, according to Bloomberg News.

The departure of the 55-year-old former president of Harvard University is hardly a shock. Summers' temper is legendary and he lacks the telegenic charm of Austan Goolsbee, who recently replaced Christina Romer as the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Summers has also been a vocal proponent of the president's economic agenda. Though many mainstream economists agree with Summers, Republicans do not -- and they stand a good chance of winning control of one or both Houses of Congress. Summers also refused to speak in sound bites. Here is how Summers described his philosophy about government service earlier this summer:
"People asked me when I first made plans to go to Washington and advise President Obama on his economic strategy, 'How do you define success?'" said Summers. "I was never quite sure how to answer that question, then one day a kind of answer struck me. I remembered back to my twin daughters' study of Advanced Placement American History. . . . What I was struck by as an economist was that all kinds of events that seemed important to me -- the 1987 stock market crash, the 1982 recession, the inflation of the 1970s -- were barely mentioned in their course. In contrast, the course seemed to go on and on and on about the Depression of the 1930s.

"I vowed that the first definition for success for us would be this: Let's make sure that this economic crisis is not studied by students of history 25 years from now or 50 years from now."

Unfortunately, Summers has not achieved his goal. Obama is hinting that more members of the economic team may also leave. Among the other hits it has already taken: Peter Orzag left in July as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

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Summers may not have a pleasing personality, but he was the most competent economist on Obama's staff. Obama doesn't want good economic advice, he wants good press. Too late now.

September 22 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And they are dropping like flies. Kinda looks like rats abandoning a sinking ship. And the recovery is over? I think they are bailing cause nothing worked, and when the dem's loose Congress, they are all going to be brought before a congressional committee. Don't let the door hit you in the butt leaving.

September 22 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The pathologically arrogant Summers is getting out of the limelight, after having helped decriminalize fraud on Wall Street, and among other things, silencing Buxley Born, who tried to warn about the resulting disaster. I hope people wake up and hold him responsible for his crimes. He has been instrumental in the plundering of our country by the terrorists on Wall Street!

September 22 2010 at 10:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama's economic team is abandoning a sinking ship. Obama's policies are not defensible and any competent economist recognizes them as destabilizing. The polical thugs have been formulating economic policy in this administration.

September 22 2010 at 7:33 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Don't be surprized if a former GOLDMAN SAKS ,BAC, Citi , AIG, FANNY , OR FREDDIE employee doesn't get in. Would't that be wonderful, things just keep getting better and better.

September 22 2010 at 4:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

USA building materials cost have not gone down significantly since start of SUPER RECESSION. USA demand is LOW, but because of heavy exports of USA building materials to China ,India, Iraq,Afganistan and the rest of the world. Because of that the citizens of the USA have to pay top dollar prices for most building supplies because we the citizens are competing for those supplies. Capitol Hill JUST DOESN'T GET IT! If people would only vote the incumbent jackasses of both corrupt parties out of office, maybe things would finally turn around after November. WE NEED A THIRD PARTY, VOTE INDEPENDENT. VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OF BOTH PARTIES OUT IN NOVEMBER.

September 22 2010 at 4:53 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ultraz2's comment

I am with you, Washington doesn't get it at all.

September 22 2010 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Time for a federal sales tax of 15 percent with a 10 percent flat Federal income tax on household wages from 100,000 to 300,000 dollars and 20 percent flat Federal tax on every dollar over 300,000 dollars, and 30 percent flat Federal income tax on every dollar earned over10 million dollars. No deductions period and the IRS as we know it today is reduced to a collection agentcy. Get rid of the penny and round everything to the buyers advantage to the nearest nickel.

September 22 2010 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Brilliant but irascible"! What a bunch of horseshit! Jonathan Berr and his mindless, useless, self serving, phony press colleagues can kiss my ass! Summers is a bloated, pompous clown. Harvard can welcome him back, where he will "occupy a chair", no doubt. And continue to be useless, but at least of no further danger to the rest of us.

September 21 2010 at 11:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Time for NEW ECONO0MIC ADVISOR to instruct OBAMA to close TARP BANKS that caused economy to collaspe. If TARP banks were left to go under, they would have had a forclosure fire sale and the economy would have recovered already. Second teer banks could have been given the TARP MONEY AT 0 % INSTEAD OF SAVING THE BANKS THAT CAUSED THE USA ECONOMIC COLLASPE. Now the whole counrty must suffer for the next 3-7 years because of saving the TARP BANKS. The incombents of both parties must be voted out in November, other wise look for more crooked politicians allowing big business to keep ripping off the middle class.SEND A MESSAGE ,VOTE THEM OUT.

September 21 2010 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maureen & Steve

Hey Larry! If you keep doing the same thing, you're going to keep getting the same results. Try some common sense next time.

September 21 2010 at 10:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply