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From a recent profile of Larry Summers by Noam Scheiber in the New Republic:

At first glance, Summers might appear to have less to contribute on the bank and credit-market front, the most dangerous part of the current situation. His exposure to Wall Street over the years has been limited

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

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…

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.

I wonder what would have constituted “significant” exposure to Wall Street. Maybe if he’d worked for D.E. Shaw full time? (Amazingly, Summers was paid $5.2 million for a part-time position. He was still a full-time professor at Harvard. If we’re generous and assume he worked 1000 hours a year for them, he was paid $5,200 an hour.)

Then there are the speaking fees. As the Wall Street Journal mentions, they were mostly from the financial sector—including the “giant government bailout” sector, such as JP Morgan, Citigroup, and two speeches to Goldman Sachs. I’ve pulled out some of the interesting ones from his disclosure form and listed them over at my site.

Next, note also that Summers worked for D.E. Shaw from October, 2006 onwards, so $5.2 million is likely less than half his total haul.

Finally, the New Republic article omitted that Summers was listed as a contributor to their now defunct blog Open University. Though as far as I can tell Summers never wrote anything for it, he was mentioned on it several times—for example, when he was hired by D.E. Shaw.

posted by Jonathan Schwarz at 8:08 AM | link

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