By Dan Kervick
James K. Galbraith presents a summing up of the recent public debate over President Obama’s consideration of Lawrence Summers to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed Chair. These are the key observations:
Summers drew immediate fire, mostly from liberals. Some were from Harvard, where, as president, he’d alienated many faculty with, among other things, his ill-chosen remarks about women and his handling of a U.S. government lawsuit over dealings between Harvard and Russia. Some foes focused on his time at Treasury under Bill Clinton, when the Glass-Steagall law regulating banks was repealed and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which outlawed regulation of derivatives, was passed. Some judged him for his income from Wall Street, including his huge speaking fees and the money he made working for a hedge fund. And his abrasive personality and bruising personal style didn’t make him many liberal friends.