To: President Donald Trump

Tell Pres. Obama: Larry Summers is wrong for the Federal Reserve

President Obama: Please do not appoint Larry Summers as the Chair of the Federal Reserve. As the architect of Wall Street deregulation, someone who holds the sexist belief that women don't learn math and science as well as men, and someone who Administration insiders say has the "courage to say 'YES' to Wall Street", Summers is the wrong choice for this position.

Why is this important?

Since the beginning of the summer we’ve been hearing that Larry Summers will be President Obama’s choice to replace Ben Bernanke as Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank in January.1 Everything about this is wrong.

First, Summers was the architect of bank deregulation in the late 1990’s, including the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which created the environment that Wall Street criminals used to destroy our economy. He hasn’t stepped away from that view despite what the bankers did. Second, Summers has stated that he believes that women are "innately" less able to understand science and math than men.2 Third, Administration insiders are telling people Summers is the right choice because, “He has the courage to say, ‘Yes’, to Wall Street”!3

Can you believe that? To us, that’s three strikes. Tell President Obama: Larry Summers is the wrong choice to head the Federal Reserve Bank.

This issue is gaining urgency now that fall is rapidly approaching and Congress is back in session. The head of the Federal Reserve Bank has the most influence of any one person over the state of the American economy. Appointing someone who both thinks women are intellectually inferior and paved the way for Wall Street bankers to destroy our economy is wrong for women and wrong for our economy.

The not-so-shocking fact about this potential appointment is that there is an amazingly qualified woman for the job in Janet Yellen, about whom the New York Times says, “no one else can match Janet Yellen’s combination of academic credentials and policy-making experience.”4 However, Yellen has been the subject of a whispering campaign about her lack of “toughness” and “gravitas” – coded language used repeatedly against women to keep them out of powerful positions.5

Those kinds of attacks on women are not acceptable and neither is appointing someone like Larry Summers. As the President who has wrestled with the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression – and as the father of two daughters – President Obama should make a better choice.

Tell President Obama: Larry Summers is the wrong choice to head the Federal Reserve Bank.

Even if you have signed another petition on this topic, sign this one too. With Congress back in session, they need to hear from us now. We'll be working with national partners and local community groups to make sure our voices are heard.

1. John Harwood, "Obama source predicts Summers will be named Fed chief soon." CNBC, 08-26-2013. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100988773
2. "Why women are poor at science, by Harvard president," The Guardian, 01-18-2005. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/jan/18/educationsgendergap.genderissues
3. “Summers: The Courage to Say Yes to Wall Street?” Mike Lux, Daily Kos, 07-25-2013 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/25/1226436/-Summers-The-Courage-to-Say-Yes-to-Wall-Street#
4. “Choosing the Next Fed Leader” New York Times Editorial Board, 07-29-2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/30/opinion/choosing-the-next-fed-leader.html
5. “The subtle, sexist whispering campaign against Janet Yellen," The Washington Post, 07-19-2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/19/the-subtle-sexist-whispering-campaign-against-janet-yellen/

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Reasons for signing

  • Janet Yellen is the most experienced and trusted candidate for the position of Fed Chair. She is the "safe pair of hands" to continue to lead us out of this crisis, protect employment and importantly effect the necessary reforms to ensure such a crisis does not occur again. Larry Summers though smart is the embodiment of failed deregulation policies and a divisive leader. The choice is clear. Janet Yellen
  • No to Larry Summers!

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