Sun, Apr 05, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Hedge fund paid Obama adviser Summers US$5.2m


Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, speaks at an American Bankers Association conference in Washington on Wednesday.


Lawrence Summers, a top economic adviser to US President Barack Obama, was paid about US$5.2 million by hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the past year, financial disclosure forms released by the White House showed on Friday.

Summers, a former US Treasury secretary and Harvard University president, was also paid US$2.7 million in speaking fees by a range of organizations and companies, including several troubled Wall Street financial firms, they showed.

The disclosure documents on Summers and other White House officials advising Obama on the global financial crisis covered last year and the first few months of this year. Summers became an official adviser on Jan. 20 when Obama took office.

Summers, who was a part-time managing director of D.E. Shaw after stepping down as Harvard president, had speaking fees of US$67,500 from JP Morgan, US$45,000 from Citigroup, US$135,000 from Goldman Sachs and US$67,500 from Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt last year.

As chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Summers is a leading voice in Obama’s policies to reverse the recession in the US, rebuild the financial industry and help to end the global crisis.

The disclosure documents showed many of the senior advisers to the president earned large salaries from their companies, served in lucrative positions on corporate boards and had large holdings of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

US National Security Adviser James Jones reported collecting more than US$1 million for serving as a director for Boeing, Chevron and other companies. He had a salary and bonuses of US$900,000 from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod reported US$896,776 in salary from his consulting firm AKP&D Message and Media as well as US$500,000 in partnership income. He had another US$151,914 in partnership income from his other campaign management firm, ASK Public Strategies.

Axelrod reported he had entered an agreement to sell the firms for US$3 million over five years.

Valerie Jarrett, another senior Obama adviser, reported US$346,687 in directors’ fees, including from the consulting firm Navigant, a real estate investment trust and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Jarrett had US$302,000 in salary from a company that develops and manages apartment buildings, plus US$550,000 in deferred salary from the same firm, her disclosure form showed.

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