Will Larry Summers' private sector ventures, Wall Street connections, and reputation as a deregulator ultimately doom his Fed chair candidacy? The issue is taken up by the NY Times this weekend in a lengthy piece that explores Summers' lucrative consulting work, paid speeches, and board seats at Silicon Valley start-ups.
"I start from a position of being extraordinarily skeptical that Larry Summers is appropriate to chair the Fed," Senator Jeff Merkley says, adding that it isn't at all clear why a "committed deregulator" should be put in a "key regulatory position."
Others — like Harvard colleague Robert Lawrence, Alliance Partners' Lewis Sachs, and the fortuitously named Kelly Friendly, who is Summers' spokeswoman — strike a less skeptical tone. Paid advisers aren't necessarily beholden to private interests, Lawrence says, while Sachs and Friendly claim Summers' multifarious private sector experiences will give him a "unique perspective" on economic and financial matters.