Wednesday, September 22, 2010

God Help Harvard

Somewhere along the way it became a precept of the society of copy editors: Larry Summers shall not be mentioned in any news report without the word "brilliant" in the same sentence. But this a profoundly overrated policymaker who never should have been part of an administration that came into office with a mandate for change and economic revival. This becomes a bit hard to pull off, substantively and in terms of public perception, when one of your top economic advisors is featured prominently in exposés of the backroom policy mistakes that led to the bubble and crash. Obama has no one to blame for this but himself -- especially as he retains Geithner and Bernanke, the other two in the trio.


Anonymous KAIMU said...


As a protest I think I'll pull my kid out of Harvard and move him to ... Hummmm ... well, I can't put him into UC Berkeley as that's Rohmer's territory ... um' not at Princeton, professor Ben Beard's future retreat ... What ivy league tower is not part of the "brilliant" failure legacy?

9/23/2010 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Our best and brightest!!! Where else can you get a double major in Ponzi Scheme Architecture and The theory and application of Snake Oil?

9/23/2010 10:10 AM  
Anonymous rapier said...

Well they can't very well say the 'handsome Larry Summers' or the 'asshole Larry Summers' so somebody inserted 'brilliant' at some point and it stuck. Then too when someone makes so much money for others they are likely to be considered brilliant.

9/25/2010 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Summers isn't brilliant -- he's an idiot savant, capable only of a small set of highly-specialized skills (in his case, at the interface between politics and finance), and virtually helpless in every other area of intelligent thought.

Just listen to any Harvard faculty member who ever met with him. The guy is little more than "Rain Man" with a better publicist.

9/25/2010 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this all part of the incestuous revolving door relationship between Wall Street and our government. The state of US journalism today is really sad. It is just basically a tool to herd the masses, rather than to investigate and inform. Time Warner cable locally eliminated PBS and gave us Head Line News. So rather than get educated and watch real journalism, we get Everything_is_breaking_news-Nancy Grace, Joy Behar, and entertainment news, on a loop.

I wouldn't be surprised if the remark made by Mr. Summer's regarding women --- "different availability of aptitude at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization", is really how he feels about most people that aren't in his circle. Not exactly the kind of person one pictures to lead an institution of higher learning.

Matt Taibbi wrote another excellent article in the Rolling Stone magazine, "Obscene Tax Break Survives Again" (carried interest tax break)

The carried interest tax break is a classic example of how in America constituencies with the means and the bureaucratic endurance to get what they want slowly hack away at the government over time, carving out exemptions to their civic responsibilities while ordinary people suck the proverbial egg. A 100% or 200% tax break for hedge fund and private equity billionaires is not the sort of thing that one passes instantly, by standing up in front of big campaign crowds and urging on a mob; it takes a long time and a lot of behind-the-scenes baby steps.

Larry Summers is just another one in a long line of schmucks in the elite entitlement world of "we count, you don't". I can't look at one person every Presidency and say they are the problem. The problem is Wall Street's money in our Government. Will the Tea Party change that? Nope.

Matt Taibbi is one awesome journalist who doesn't use the word brilliant, unless he saying what a brilliant mess they got us into. Chechout his, Billionaire Bailout Recipient to America: "Suck It In and Cope, Buddy" article.

10/02/2010 12:45 PM  
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