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Larry Summers' Departure Signaling a Shift?

Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010 | 6:05 PM ET

A day after Larry Summers confirmed he's stepping down as President Obama's economic adviser, many are speculating about who will succeed him as director of the National Economic Council.

Summers is leaving the White House to return to his teaching job at Harvard University and the country is better off without him, said Barry Ritholtz, CEO of FusionIQ. As Treasury secretary, Summers oversaw the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated banks and Wall Street, said Ritholtz. He was also in power for the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Ritholtz said allowed AIG to write $3 trillion in derivatives.

Ritholtz stopped short of saying Summers caused the financial crisis, but charges him with having a heavy hand in it.

"This was a group effort. This took a lot of people making really bad decisions collectively, but Summers was one of those guys and his reward for incompetence was a promotion back to the White House," said Ritholtz.

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Whoever succeeds Summers doesn't matter, explained Ritholtz, because Austan Goolsbee, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, will expand his role and authority. In turn, the director role of the National Economic Council will be nothing more than a "spokesperson." But that's not necessarily a "bad thing," said Ritholtz, because Goolsbee strikes him as a "pragmatic, pro-business guy."

"If Goolsbee is running the show economically, I think we end the anti-Wall Street, anti-corporate chatter," said Ritholtz.

Watch the video to see the full interview with Ritholtz.

Analyze This: Good Riddance Summers
Larry Summers replacement should be a business executive, says Barry Ritholtz, FusionIQ.

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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 22, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (APA), (AAPL), (ARUN), (BMO), (C), (GS), (IBM), (HES), (JOYG), (XBI), (NBR), (NOV), (OXY), (ORCL), (PEP), (POT), (RSH), (SLB), (SU), (SPLS), (RIG), (UPL), (MA), (VRTS); Adami owns (AGU), (BTU), (NUE), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT); Adami’s wife works at Merck; Finerman owns (AAPL); Finerman’s firm owns (BKS); Finerman and Finerman’s firm owns (BAC); Finerman and Finerman’s firm owns (JPM); Weiss owns (AU), (UXG), (NIHD), (SF), (PJC), (KBW), (QCOM), (AGU), (BAC), (POT), (VZ)

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