Lawrence Summers to leave White House


Economic adviser Lawrence Summers plans to step down his position in the late 2010. He will return to Harvard University.


Lawrence Summers is 2010 Director of the White House National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. He was reported to be frustrated with his position at the NEC in early April 2010. He was upset for not being chosen to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve.


Summers’ departure shakes up an economic team which is already in transition following the recent departures of President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers.


The president showed his gratefulness for his service during a time of “great peril” for the country whose damage was done by the recession.


Summers’ returning to Harvard University was always part of Summers’ long-standing plans. He was advised to stay through 2010 to see through continued implementation of the economic stimulus package and the passage of financial regulatory legislation. 


Summers is one of three high profile member of the economic team to step down positions in recent months. Both budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers departed this summer.


A corporate executive was expected to replace Summers’ position. Since Christina Romer’s departure, there have been no women in top economic posts. Incumbent team of advisers does not have significant private-sector experience. 


Amid highly stubborn unemployment rate and growing concerns on fragile recovery, Democrats are worried about the possibility of the economy leading to sweeping losses for the party in the midterm elections. 


Top House Republican, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio emphasized on the urgency for a fresh start in Washington. However, the White House dismissed his calls as politically motivated.


Lawrence Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. He resigned this position owing to a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty. He is renowned as a brilliant. He made a considerable promotion, Undersecretary for International Affairs in 1993, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in 1995, and Secretary of the Treasury in 1999.

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