Obama adviser Summers earned millions from hedge fund

WASHINGTON Sat Apr 4, 2009 6:53pm BST

Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, takes questions after delivering a speech on ''Responding to an Historic Economic Crisis: The Obama Program,'' at the Brookings Institution in Washington March 13, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley

Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, takes questions after delivering a speech on ''Responding to an Historic Economic Crisis: The Obama Program,'' at the Brookings Institution in Washington March 13, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Molly Riley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawrence Summers, a top economic adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, was paid about $5.2 million by hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the past year, financial disclosure forms released by the White House showed on Friday.

Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary and Harvard University president, also was paid $2.7 million in speaking fees by a range of organizations and companies, including several troubled Wall Street financial firms, they showed.

The disclosure documents on Summers and other White House officials advising Obama on the global financial crisis covered 2008 and the first few months of this year. Summers became an official adviser on January 20 when Obama took office.

Summers, who was a part-time managing director of D.E. Shaw after stepping down as Harvard president, had speaking fees of $67,500 from JP Morgan, $45,000 from Citigroup, $135,000 from Goldman Sachs and $67,500 from Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt in the mortgage crisis last year.

He also had significant income from Harvard University and from investments, the forms showed.

As chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Summers is a leading voice in Obama's policies to reverse the recession in the United States, rebuild the financial industry and help to end the global crisis.

The disclosure documents showed many of the senior advisers to the president earned large salaries from their companies, served in lucrative positions on corporate boards and had large holdings of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

National Security Adviser James Jones reported collecting more than $1 million for serving as a director for Boeing, Chevron and other companies. He had a salary and bonuses of $900,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod reported $896,776 in salary from his consulting firm AKP&D Message and Media as well as $500,000 in partnership income. He had another $151,914 in partnership income from his other campaign management firm, ASK Public Strategies.

Axelrod reported he had entered an agreement to sell the firms for $3 million over five years.

Valerie Jarrett, another senior Obama adviser, reported $346,687 in directors' fees, including from the consulting firm Navigant, a real estate investment trust and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Jarrett had $302,000 in salary from a company that develops and manages apartment buildings, plus $550,000 in deferred salary from the same firm, her disclosure form showed.

(Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech and John O'Callaghan)