Investigative Journalist: Summers Is Controlling Economists' Access to Obama
April 29, 2009 • 5:59PM

A Women on the Web interview with award-winning journalist Naomi Klein features her second attack in two weeks on Obama's chief economics adviser Larry Summers, and his vile effect on the President. Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine (2007), which included a dissection of Summers's role with Alan Greenspan in setting off the disastrous global debt bubble of the past decade, now disintegrated. "Somebody who played a key role in pushing shock therapy economic policy on Russia in the '90s, when 72 million people were thrown into poverty, should not be declared a genius."

Klein's sharpest charge is that Summers has made himself "gatekeeper" to President Obama's economic advice, which is thus all bad. "Summers appears to be keeping people away from Obama"—Klein names Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman—. "He's the gatekeeper. He's defining the terms of the debate, and they are outrageously narrow." Both Summers and Geithner are "not dumb ... They are corrupt," she says, and Summers is "presented as an academic, as if he wasn't coming straight from Wall Street," with $8 million income in 2008 from making speeches at banks and working one day a week for a hedge fund.

Obama, Klein says, may not be corrupt, but "the bank bailout ... it's a disaster, crony capitalism at the absolute worst.... Larry Summers and Tim Geithner came up with a plan to bailout the banks that is also a disguised bailout for the hedge funds—where the government is not bailing out the hedge funds directly because they can't sell that, but hedging the hedge funds to buy the toxic assets of the banks—instead of nationalizing the banks and breaking them up.... This is very different from what FDR had the guts to do."

Klein adds one more irony to Summers' role in "fixing" the collapse he worked hard to bring on, in addition to those exposed in EIR by Debra Hanania-Freeman's incisive article. Klein says that for her book she compiled quotes from Summers during the 1990s, in which he claimed that all economic debate was over, globalization and deregulation were all there was. "One of the issues that he listed as 'over,' was the idea that government could invest in programs to stimulate the economy!"