Larry Summers collects $8 million from Wall Street
April 4, 2009 by Amy Siskind
To viewers that have been with us since 2008, you will recall that The New Agenda was the only national women’s rights group to speak out loudly and boldly when President Obama was considering Larry Summers for the post of Treasury Secretary. We issued a press release saying that Summers would put our economy in peril. Dr. Nancy Hopkins, who is a co-founder of The New Agenda was actually in the room at Harvard when Larry gave his famous speech about girls’ lower aptitude in mathematics and science. The New Agenda was joined by a prominent group of women in academia in which Dr. Hopkins is also a member, The Rosalind Franklin Society, in calling for Larry Summer to not be selected.
We won the battle, but lost the war. President Obama instead put Larry as director of the National Economic Council. This position did not require Senate confirmation, but gave Larry as much power as Secretary Timothy Geithner. We got the ole end around.
Now the chickens are coming home to roost.We wrote a couple of weeks back about how Larry Summers spoke out against the AIG executives who were collecting millions of dollars in bonuses. We wrote how Larry, Timothy Geithner and President Obama had used the political outrage to distract from a bigger issue: our government’s failure to properly police tens of billions of dollars that leaked out to domestic and foreign banks.
Now we learn that the same Larry Summers, the one who was outraged two weeks ago about some AIG executives who earned $1 million in bonuses, himself earned $8 million in bonuses from the same hedge funds and financial institutions that Larry was appointed to oversee and regulate. Is there a conflict of interest here? You better believe it!
For 2008, Larry was paid over $5 million from DE Shaw, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. DE Shaw has multiple strategies that they run – and many of these strategies intersect with markets in which Larry can have major impact. For example, the derivatives market which Larry and gang are seeking to regulate.
Larry also received $2.7 million from Wall Street banks during 2008 that were recipients of government bailout money. For one speech alone, Larry Summers was paid $135,000 by Goldman Sachs! Now, does Goldman Sachs ring a bell for anyone? Yes, not only has Goldman received billions of dollars of TARP funds, Goldman was also the single biggest beneficiary of money that was drained out of AIG. The New York Times recently reported that:
Goldman Sachs was paid $14 billion for securities that had a market value of $8 billion, equating to a $6 billion windfall. Add that to the $10 billion Goldman already received from the government, and its total bailout jumps to $16 billion.
Yes, Larry who gets to be a major voice in where our taxpayer dollars are allocated, has been collecting speaking fees from these same Wall Street firms!
Larry Summers needs to do one of the following: donate the $8 million he earned to charities that can help the millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table right now. And/or, he should step down from his post as the director of the National Economic Council immediately.