Lawrence Summers Meets With Biden Advisers Amid Inflation Fears

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Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, a sometime-critic of President Joe Biden’s economic policy, met Tuesday at the White House with two of the president’s top economic aides.

Summers, who served at Treasury in the Clinton administration and also worked in the Obama White House, met with National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse, a White House official said.

The group talked about the infrastructure legislation that’s under negotiation as well as Biden’s broader Build Back Better economic agenda, the official said.

Another topic discussed was the G-20 and coronavirus vaccine distribution. Summers is co-chair of the G-20 High Level Independent Panel on financing pandemic preparedness and response, the official added.

Summers, a paid contributor to Bloomberg Television, has for months been warning about the potential of rising inflation. A Tuesday report showed prices paid by U.S. consumers surged in June by the most since 2008, topping all forecasts and showing higher costs associated with the economy’s reopening continue to fuel inflationary pressures.

Summers has been an occasional adviser to Biden, including during the 2020 presidential campaign, when progressives organized against him. They urged Biden not to give Summers, who is also a former president of Harvard University, an administration job.

In March, Summers said on Bloomberg TV’s “Wall Street Week” that Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill was “the least responsible fiscal macroeconomic policy we’ve have had for the last 40 years.”

But he’s also spoken approvingly of Biden’s infrastructure plan as well as the president’s pledges to raise corporate tax rates to their pre-Trump administration levels and to step up tax enforcement.

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