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Center For American Progress Says Larry Summers ‘Not A Wall Street Guy’

The Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive front group for corporate Democrats, has decided to go on the record in assisting Larry Summers’ quest to become Chair of the Federal Reserve. In a New York Times story titled The Fed, Lawrence Summers, and Money the president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, goes on the record on Summers’ behalf:

“I definitely don’t think of him as a Wall Street guy,” said Neera Tanden, the center’s president. “He runs in the crowd enough to known they’re not always right.”

Interesting statement given that Summers was the chief cheerleader for the deregulation that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis. At the time, Summers claimed to be right because he had the support of Wall Street. In fact, it was Summers who made the now infamous 13 bankers statement, a statement Summers made to Brooksley Born to stop her from regulating derivatives.

In one call, Summers said, “I have 13 bankers in my office and they say if you go forward with this you will cause the worst financial crisis since World War II.”

Not a Wall Street guy? Knows they aren’t always right? Really Neera?

In the same article Tanden is quoted revealing that Summers has been taking payments from Wall Street firms – the ones he would be regulating if he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Summers, 58, has been employed by the megabank Citigroup and the sprawling hedge fund D. E. Shaw. He works for a firm that advises small banks as well as the exchange company Nasdaq OMX. And he serves on the board of two Silicon Valley start-ups: both financial firms that may pursue initial public offerings in the next year…

Before his tenure in the Obama administration, Mr. Summers had accumulated personal wealth of at least $7 million; the last two years have most likely added considerably to that. But his money and Wall Street connections put him in an awkward position, partly because the next person to lead the Federal Reserve will oversee the writing of several key new regulations from the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

What is CAP’s role in American politics? Is it to launder corporate functionaries as progressives? Apparently so.

CAP itself was recently caught soliciting contributions from Corporate America in exchange for access to the Obama Administration. Pay to play. Now they are trying to help Summers get into one of the most powerful jobs in Washington, despite clear conflicts of interest. CAP’s attempt to astroturf progressive support for Larry Summers is shameful.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.