Summers "limited" Exposure To Wall Street--still...

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THE STASH APRIL 6, 2009

Summers "limited" Exposure To Wall Street--still Operative?

Since the White House disclosed details of Larry Summers's compensation from the hedge fund D.E. Shaw last week, a couple of readers have wondered if I still stand behind the following line from my recent Summers profile: "His exposure to Wall Street over the years has been limited." The answer is yes, I do.  

Summers was obviously compensated incredibly generously. But, according to the front-page story in today's Times, he typically worked at the hedge fund one day a week, and that arrangement lasted from 2006 until 2008. One-day a week for two years--plus various conferences and meeting with important clients--doesn't strike me as an especially extensive exposure to Wall Street over the course of a 30-year career.

Compare Summers with, say, Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin, both of whom spent decades at Goldman Sachs, or Steve Rattner, whom the Times also profiles today (and who also spent decades as an investment banker/money manager), and I think you'll see what I had in mind.

--Noam Scheiber 

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