Obama's chief economic advisor Summers to leave government post

10:21, September 22, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama's chief economic advisor, director of the National Economic Council Lawrence H. Summers will return to Harvard University at the end of the year, said the White House on Tuesday.

"I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry's brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team," Obama said in a statement.

The president said that Summers has helped guide the U.S. from the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s to renewed growth over the past two years.

Summers' departure comes amid a sluggish economic recovery that has seen unemployment at 9.6 percent. He would be the third high- level member of the Obama economic team to leave this year, following the resignations of budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Summers has agreed to continue to serve as a member of the President's Economic Advisory Board.

He said "I will miss working with the president and his team on the daily challenges of economic policy making. I'm looking forward to returning to Harvard to teach and write about the economic fundamentals of job creation and stable finance as well as the integration of rising and developing countries into the global system."

According to the White House statement, Summers overseas the coordination of economic policy making across the administration, leads the president's daily economic briefing and has been a frequent public spokesman for the administration's policies.

Under Dr. Summers's leadership, the National Economic Council has been at the center of economic policy making in the Obama administration. He served as an architect of the Recovery Act and other job creation measures and the Financial Stability Program. As co-chair of the President Auto Task Force, he led the restructuring of the U.S. automobile industry.

He has also played a leading role in managing U.S. international economic relationships, developing the president's health care plan, opening the broadband spectrum, and in international climate negotiations.

Analysts say that Summers' leave indicates the political challenge that the Obama administration is facing under the pressure of an election year.

Republicans criticized that the Obama administration's economic policy has failed, at least in terms of unemployment rate. They called for Obama to fire both of his top economic advisors -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and chief economic advisor Lawrence Summers.

But Obama said on Monday that he had not made any determinations about changing personnel on his team.

The president just said, "This is tough work that they do."

Source: Xinhua


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