obama administration

James Politi

Larry Summers’ days as steward of the Obama administration’s economic policy are numbered. The White House has just released a statement, after two days of frenzied speculation, confirming Mr Summers’ departure as director of the National Economic Council at the end of the year to take up a teaching post at Harvard University.

Mr Summers‘ decision to leave the administration will no doubt rekindle concerns that the Obama administration’s economic team is burned out, after more than a year and a half of war with high unemployment and slow growth. It also reflects mounting pressure for the White House to refresh its approach to economic policy, as the recovery continues to sputter forward. Read more

James Politi

Barack Obama has finally made his choice. Jack Lew will replace Peter Orszag as director of the office of management and budget, a key administration position which has become even more crucial amid rising pressure for the US to curb its rising budget deficit.

Mr Lew was not the the most widely circulated name for the job, which seemed destined to go to Gene Sperling, an adviser at the Treasury department, or Laura Tyson, the Berkeley economist. But there are certainly many reasons why Mr Obama would want him in the job. And there is one possible complication. Read more

James Politi

Peter Orszag, the all-powerful White House budget director, will be the first senior member of President Barack Obama’s economic team to leave the administration, probably in a few weeks’ time.

His departure, while not unexpected, leaves a significant gap that Mr Obama will surely try to fill as soon as he can given the urgency with which America’s dire fiscal position needs to be tackled.

Despite Mr Orszag’s young age of 41, he is considered one of the most influential budget director in decades, playing a pivotal role in engineering Mr Obama’s two signature pieces of legislation so far: the stimulus bill and healthcare reform.

This will make him tough to replace, and the most likely candidates at this point are Read more

Simone Baribeau

The Obama administration today released the long-awaited permanent modification data for the Making Home Affordable loan modification programme. Those who were expecting low rates of permanent modifications weren’t disappointed.

Only 31,382 of the 728,000 loans being modified in the trial phase – less than 5 per cent – have been made permanent. Read more

Money Supply, a Financial Times blog, wraps up the news of the day for Thursday, October 15 Read more