The architect of financial deregulation via the dismantling of Glass-Steagall could be rewarded for blowing up the world with a new post as head of the World Bank.
President Barack Obama is considering nominating Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council director, to lead the World Bank when Robert Zoellick’s term expires later this year, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Summers has expressed his interest in the job to White House officials and has backers inside the administration, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the current NEC Director, Gene Sperling, said one of the people. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also being considered, along with other candidates, said the other person. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
Lael Brainard, the under secretary of Treasury for international affairs, is compiling a list of potential candidates to replace Zoellick, who was nominated to a five-year term that began in July of 2007 by then-President George W. Bush. By tradition, the U.S. president chooses the leader of the World Bank while the head of the International Monetary Fund is selected by European leaders. The nomination is subject to approval by the World Bank’s executive board.
White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment. Summers’ assistant, Julie Shample, said he was unavailable. Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Clinton, did not respond to a request for comment.
A nomination of Summers would bring scrutiny of his previous stints in government, both as former President Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and Obama’s NEC director, as well as his tenure as the president of Harvard University.
“Larry is controversial,” said Erskine Bowles, who served as Clinton’s chief of staff. “Anything you appoint Larry to, you know there are going to be some people who are going to take shots at him."
Video - Bloomberg reports on Larry Summers leaving Harvard to head the World Bank.