Thursday, November 20, 2008

CREDO: Fax John Podesta: We can't afford to let Larry Summers take over Treasury

Dear Mr. Podesta,

As chief of President-elect Obama's transition team, you will help make many decisions -- great and small -- that have a profound effect on our ability to make progressive change.

It's widely reported that former Clinton official and Harvard President Larry Summers is on your shortlist for Treasury Secretary. This is a crucial appointment given the financial crisis and its devastating effect on so many Americans.

In 1999, Summers was one of the key proponents of the banking deregulation that led to the rise of 'mega-banks' and the current financial crisis. He had a direct hand in the famous "Enron" exception. He even sent a note to the now disgraced former CEO of Enron, Ken Lay, with a handwritten PS that read: "I'll keep my eye on power deregulation and energy market infrastructure issues." That led to a reported $17 million energy deficit here in NYC at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, our noted induction center named for our nation's Federalist, patriot and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Robert E. Lee, a former West Point Commandant, lived there before the Civil War. Veterans are treated there at the hospital my godmother worked for many years.

Attached to this fax, find a copy of that letter from Summers to Lay.

In addition to this remarkable lapse in judgment, Larry Summers has argued that women are innately less gifted in science than men.

President-elect Obama needs to put an end to the excesses on Wall Street, ensure accountability for bailout funds, and get our economy moving in the right direction. Summers is not the man for this job.

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