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For the Obama economic team, talk isn’t cheap

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Members of President Obama’s team prove that talking about the economy can pay handsomely even in troubled times for the news business.

White House financial disclosure forms, released late last week, offer a glimpse into what the President’s top economic advisors earned during 2008 when they were still in private life and writing for newspapers and appearing on cable news channels. The data was first reported in the Washington Post.

Ivy League pay

The best paid of the economic advisors was Lawrence Summers, a former president of Harvard University, who now serves as Director of the President’s National Economic Council. The Financial Times newspaper paid him $34,000 in fees for at least eight columns. That works out to an average of $4,250 per column. There was not much danger of another newspaper topping that offer. And the Financial Times paid Mr. Summers $60,000 for a speaking engagement, according to the disclosure form.

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