Summers got millions in fees from bailed-out banks


By Timothy J. Burger and Kristin Jensen
Bloomberg News
Friday, April 3, 2009

Lawrence Summers, director of President Barack Obama's National Economic Council, took in more than $2.7 million in speaking fees paid by organizations that included Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Bank of America Corp., among other companies now receiving taxpayer funds in the economic bailout.

Summers also was paid more than $1.4 million in salary and over $3.7 million in other compensation by the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co. in the past 16 months, according to financial disclosure forms of top White House officials that the administration made public today.

Given Summers' resume, "there was considerable interest in hearing his economic insights from companies across various industries," said Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman. Since coming to the White House, Summers "has been at the forefront of this administration's work to shore up our nation's financial system and to put in place a regulatory framework that will strengthen the financial system."

Separately, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama and a close friend from Chicago, sold shares she owned in CME Group Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard Co., Intel Corp., Sony Corp., General Mills Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Nike Inc.

The income from those stocks, also including dividends in the last 15 months, ranged from as little as $1,000 to as much as $100,000 each. The disclosure form only requires ranges. Jarrett also sold restricted stock options in Navigant Consulting Inc. for $393,286, according to her disclosure. She served as a board member for the Chicago-based consulting firm.

Jarrett reported owning between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of Apple Inc. shares and between $1,000 and $15,000 in stock of Best Buy Co., Brinker International Inc., Staples Inc. and Starbucks Corp. The White House said she no longer owns any shares.

In the last 15 months, she also earned a salary of $302,000 from Habitat Executive Services Inc. in Chicago and directors' fees of more than $346,000 from groups ranging from Navigant to USG Corp., a manufacturer of building materials.

David Axelrod, the chief strategist of Obama's historic campaign who is now a senior adviser to the president, received $1.55 million in salary and partnership income from public affairs firms he co-owned and agreed to a buyout that will pay him $3 million over five years, his disclosure form shows.

Axelrod's clients included the AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions; the American Association for Justice, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; AT&T Inc.; and Bally Total Fitness Corp.

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