Gene Sperling Reportedly Obama Pick To Replace Larry Summers

Gene Sperling Reportedly Obama Pick To Replace Larry Summers

President Barack Obama will appoint Gene Sperling, currently a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to replace Larry Summers as director of the National Economic Council on Friday, the Washington Post reports.

Sperling will return to the same post he held under the administration of former President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001.

NBC's First Read reports:

The president will make the announcement tomorrow during his visit to Thompson Creek Manufacturing in Landover, MD, a window manufacturer. While there, the president will also tour the facility and comment on the monthly employment report.

Prior to news breaking on the president's appointment decision, HuffPost's Will Alden reported:

By appointing Sperling, the president would fuel perceptions that his administration is overly close to Wall Street, installing a policymaker who has not only overseen monumental deregulation of the financial sector, but has also collected hefty paychecks from its leading firms.

The next NEC director will help determine the administration's economic policy over the next two years. Summers, who last week left his White House post for a Harvard professorship, met with the president almost daily to discuss economic decisions. Long sympathetic to Wall Street interests, Summers pushed for deregulation of financial instruments under President Clinton, a policy that experts -- and Clinton himself -- now say was misguided, contributing to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Sperling, if appointed, would be expected to take a stance similar to that of Summers and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, said those familiar with his history. (Rubin became chairman of Citigroup after leaving the Clinton administration and later resigned from that post in disgrace.) Sperling worked under Rubin in the early Clinton years, when Rubin was NEC director. In Clinton's second term, during Sperling's own tenure as NEC director, Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, prompting a rule-easing that allowed Citigroup to become the world's largest financial services company.

This story is developing... More information to come...

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