Dubin, Lasry Say Summers Would Have Been 'Great' Fed Chair

Sep 25 2013 | 10:07am ET

A pair of prominent hedge fund managers—including a major Democratic donor—expressed disappointment yesterday that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will not succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Highbridge Capital Management co-founder Glenn Dubin told the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit that Summers would have made a "great" chairman and called the process of picking a new Fed chief a "fiasco."

"I think the process, specifically talking about Larry Summers and the decision to not move forward with him as Fed chairman, is horrendous," Dubin said, adding that the former Harvard University president was "hung out to dry."

Summers withdrew his name from consideration for the post last week, amidst mounting opposition to him from both Democrats and Republicans. In spite of strong pressure on President Barack Obama against naming Summers, the president was believed to favor him in the post. His exit from the running leaves Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen as the likely next Fed chair.

Avenue Capital Group's Marc Lasry—who himself withdrew from consideration for an administration appointment, as ambassador to France—echoed Dubin's support of Summers.

"Larry would have made a great Fed chairman," Lasry said.

Summers served as a managing director at D.E. Shaw Group after his resignation from Harvard, leaving the hedge fund in 2009 to join the Obama administration as chairman of the National Economic Council. He left that post the following year and has since served as a consultant to D.E. Shaw and other financial firms.

The chorus in favor of Summers was not totally unanimous at the summit: Marathon Asset Management CEO Bruce Richards told those assembled that he backed Yellen.

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