The Internet was all a-Twitter yesterday when news broke that Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, will step down by the end of the year.
Summers—ring a bell? Maybe you remember his comments as president of Harvard that gender skewed admissions numbers might be explained by female frailty in the area of math and science. Or perhaps you remember his role, chasing away Brooksley Born, chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) in order to push through Clinton's deregulations—you know, the ones that helped lead to the current crash.
Mary Bottari over at Banksters already found an upside for Summers: "Just think of the reception he will receive when he returns to Wall Street! Never have so many financiers been made so rich because of the actions of one man."
Sure enough, in addition to returning to his well-paid position at Harvard, Summers will no doubt return to his lucrative career as a public speaker—he took in $2.7 million in speaking fees the year before joining the administration. Or to his hedge fund where he earned $5.2 million a year for a one day a week job before heading to Washington.
Two other top Obama economic advisers already left—Peter Orzsag and Christina Romer—and Time is now reporting that Rahm Emanuel may be on his way out as well. Are they—pardon the expression—rats leaving a sinking ship? Or is their dread work simply done?
Some hope that the Administration is turning in a new direction, toward a second tier of advisers who might be more progressive...
Don't bet on it. The Washington Post reports that the White House is considering trying to "blunt criticism" that they have been "anti-business."
The Devil we know certainly has friends. Time for other voices to be raised, loud, fast.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.