Who should replace Ben S. Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in January 2014? If anyone cared to ask us, we’d say no one: we like our Fed Chairman soft-spoken, bearded, and just as comfortable in dad jeans as they are in their bespoke Jos. A. Bank suits. But nobody asked and, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernanke has told “close friends” that regardless of whether or not Obama wins a second term, he’s ready to move on. Apparently qualified successors are few and far between and while Larry Summers is said to be “at the top of the list,” the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may finally be granted freedom from his own personal Guantanamo Bay and will also necessitate a replacement who will have to work closely with the new Fed Chair poses some staffing issues, on account of the perception that Summers is somewhat difficult to work with. Read more »
Is Larry Summers going to get the nomination for World Bank president? It’s unclear at this time but lest Obama be seriously considering him for the gig, a bunch of people would like to put it out there that the former Treasury Secretary would be a “terrible pick.” In 24 hours over 37,000 people have signed a petition urging Obama to say no to Big Lar, citing his comments about women and science and the fact that Christina Romer said she felt “like a piece of meat” while working with him in the White House as evidence of unfitness for the job. Once his arch nemesii get a hold of things thing and forwards it to their friends the sky’s the limit. He’ll be lucky to get a nomination ripping tickets at a Clearview Cinemas in White Plains.
They haven’t had nice things to say about him over the past year and a half. Called him McSleeps a lot and, oh, the jokes about his Diet Coke consumption came fast and furiously. But now that he’s announced he’s taking off, suddenly the business community wants the lovable schlub back, according to Charlie Gasparino. Apparently no one wants ot live in a world without Big Lar. Read more »
Charlie Gasparino’s sources are telling him that Larry Summers is unhappy and not just over the “little punk” incident. No one really knows why exactly, though Chaz suspects Big Lar wanted the Fed Chair job and with “that bearded fruit” getting the gig, for a second time no less, saw that dream flushed down the toilet. So maybe what he does about it is he quits. At the end of the year. Possibly. Very hard to be sure– suffice it to say, this situation is fluid to the extreme. In related news, via BI, this is Fox Business’s new Gasparino graphic: Read more »
Earlier today we mentioned that House Minority Leader John Boehner had some advice for any bankers headed to Washington hoping to fight financial reform. His advice was simply this: “Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves.” The reaction from a certain Director of the White House’s National Economic Council? OH NO YOU DI’INT. Read more »
Larry Summers talking shop in Davos, and waiting, just waiting, for his god damn diet Coke.
Last week Harvest Capital Strategies manager Andrew Kaplan tried to attend an analyst meeting for First Solar, which he says he was invited to. Upon arriving at the Westin in New York, where the event was taking place, Kaplan received a badge, grabbed himself a Diet Coke, and waited for the conference to begin. Unfortunately, Andy never got to find out what the company had to say for itself, because he was approached by an IR person who informed him he need to leaving the building ASAP. First Solar claims Kaplan, who is short the stock, was never invited. He begs to differ, and doesn’t understand why there’d be any reason to throw him out, since a) he was asked to come b) it’s not like he looked like some hobo off the street. But whatever! He’s not going to raise too big a stink about the whole thing. He just wants his damn money. The money it cost him to get himself back to the office after being asked to get off the property.
“Andrew Kaplan was not invited to the live event, which had space limitations on attendance, but he managed to RSVP via e-mail and we did not catch the error in advance,” Bernheimer said. “We regret any embarrassment or awkwardness caused by issuing him an admittance badge and then taking it back.”
Kaplan e-mailed First Solar officials to ask why he was barred and request that the company pay his $9 taxi fare from the hotel back to his office on Park Avenue, where he listened to the analyst conference on the Internet. Kaplan said he runs one of five funds at Harvest Capital. First Solar is the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar-power modules.
The latest issue of the New Yorker has a story on Larry Summers and his back-up dancers, i.e. Obama’s economic team. Obviously when we talk about Summers, we talk about two things: his predilection for Diet Coke and for sleeping during important meetings. Concerning the former, what does the president’s top adviser do when he wants somea that in his bloodstream, ASAP? When he’s at the White House there’s a dedicated team of servant boys whose sole purpose is to stand very still against the wall at the back of Summer’s office, loaded turkey basters in hand.* At the slightest cock of an eyebrow, the boys know what to do. (Tim Geithner has also been tasked with the responsibility of collecting Summers’ tissue spunk for chemists to analyze how elevated LS’s testosterone levels are and using the data to track down to the minute when he might get a hankering for a hit.)
It’s when Summers ventures out of the comforts of the WH–his aides don’t travel with– that things get dicey. Some offices aren’t stocked with soft drinks. Some people he takes meetings with don’t know to look for facial cues. Some amateurs who maybe don’t want to see a recovery wait until it’s too late to get the big man what he needs.
Summers looked exhausted. The previous day, he hadn’t left the White House until after midnight, and he was up at dawn to make the flight to Detroit. As Granholm talked about layoffs, he eyed a bottle of soda on the table in front of her. Summers drinks many Diet Cokes a day, and he was badly in need of one. He got up, his shirttails peeking out from underneath his jacket, and shuffled over to a counter at the side of the room in search of a caffeinated beverage. All he found was an empty glass, which he carried back to his seat. The manufacturers took turns explaining their plight. Wes Smith, of E. & E. Manufacturing, argued that although the public hates bailouts, “helping manufacturing is popular.”
As they spoke, Summers caught [Governor Jennifer] Granholm’s attention and mimed a request for some of her soda. She moved the bottle closer to him, smiling. He drank quickly, but it didn’t help. He shifted his weight in his chair. He made jerky, shaking motions with his head. He ran a hand through his hair. Still, by the time Mario Sciberras, of Saline Lectronics, was speaking about what he would do with one of the new loans, Summers was asleep. This is something of a habit: he has fallen asleep in two public meetings–and, reportedly, one private meeting–with the President this year.
Obviously there’s no one to blame here but Jennifer. So what happened next? Was the entire meeting shot to shit? Was Summers out for the next hour? Did they have to go back over everything he missed during nap time? I think not.
*There’s no time to pop open a can or unscrew a top. They’re like a firing squad back there.