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Summers Leaving White House?: Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. (TheStreet) -- The press has been playing Russian roulette with President Obama's economic team ever since President Obama and his economic team took over management of the economic crisis otherwise known as the United States -- and now it looks like the latest Obama economics team member to be on the receiving end of the unlucky bullet is the head of the White House's National Economic Council, Larry Summers [pictured below].

Of course, it was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on his way out before it was Summers, when it wasn't Ben Bernanke getting the heave-ho as the Obama administration sought to placate the populists who have pegged its economic team as being too close to Wall Street.

Larry Summers
Obama economic advisor Larry Summers

It seems only Obama economic-man-behind-the-scenes Paul Volcker is safe from the economic Russian Roulette chamber -- though the vaunted "Volcker Rules" for reforming Wall Street have recently received their own fair share of criticism from the mainstream press, for arguably doing little to change the way Wall Street operates. (See an article by Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in a recent New Republic).

The latest rumor mill content comes courtesy of Fox News -- no friend, of course, of Obama -- saying that Summers may leave the administration after the mid-term elections, based on comments that Summers has made to various unnamed Wall Street executives.

One line of argument in the press was that a leak of Summers departure would be a move to counter the attack on the Obama team being too Wall Street-friendly as mid-term elections near.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded to the reports by saying that Summers isn't going anywhere.

Summers has always been a divisive figure, all the way back to his tenure at Harvard University, where he was run out of the ivory tower for making insensitive remarks about the role of female faculty in the academic world.

There was also rumor-mongering that Summers was leaving of his own accord due to unhappiness. It was widely reported that Summers had been angling for Ben Bernanke's job as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Before that, it was reported that Geithner had beat out his former mentor Summers for the Treasury post.

It seemed the only job on Friday that Summers didn't want was his own.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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