Summers is out

Via Bloomberg:

White House officials expect Lawrence Summers to leave his job as the president’s National Economic Council director after November’s congressional elections, according to three people familiar with the matter.

His departure would leave Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as the only member of President Barack Obama’s original top-tier economic team. Summers, 55, and the president have discussed his future plans, according to one person…

Obama said yesterday he has “not made any determination about personnel.” He praised Summers and Geithner, as well as the rest of his economic advisers, saying that they “have done an outstanding job.”…

In internal discussions, Summers has argued that the administration needs to make more overtures to the business community and has opposed political advisers who want the president to strike a more populist tone, one person said.

The President had hinted about this yesterday. His comments prompted speculation about the future tenure of both Summers and Geithner. Apparently, it is Summers who is out.

Is the White House going to take a populist turn? What this means regarding the White House’s future economic focus is unclear given the pro-business credentials of officials now being nominated for senior staff positions.

Also unclear is where the White House is headed on trade issues as recent moves on trade and foreign exchange suggest a mounting populist tone at the White House. Is this having an impact?


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.