Saturday, November 29, 2008
Summers was asked to give a 'working lunch' talk at a closed meeting of academic economists. They furnished him with the papers of the meeting and asked him to summarize those papers. He did, urging the audience to get to work on counter arguments.
Summers' whole context and purpose of the occasion was to find ways to IMPROVE the ratio of women to men in those subjects.
Posted at aol.com politicalmachine Dec 3
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
[ Summers' solution] was to get the economy growing fast enough that the problems of the middle class would begin to solve themselves. And the way to do this was to slow government spending and raise taxes on the wealthy, which would bring down the Reagan-era budget deficits and, eventually, interest rates. Once that happened, the American economy would be unleashed.
...Bill Clinton ended up embracing the centrist, business-friendly ideas of Summers and his mentor, Robert Rubin, and the situation played out just as they had predicted: interest rates fell, and along came a boom that helped almost everyone. In the late ’90s, the wages of rank-and-file workers rose faster than they had in a generation.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Letter from President Summers on women and science
January 19, 2005
Lawrence H. Summers
Note: Actually iirc Summers wasn't 'fired'. The officials of the university (along with a majority of students) supported him. See
Other factors in the opposition to Summers
While many in the media have focused upon the controversial statements made by Summers or his political disagreement with left-leaning members of the faculty, it is also possible that these factors merely provided a pretext for members of the faculty to express their dissatisfaction with other aspects of Summers' presidency. Besides the aforementioned controversies, which undoubtedly provided the proximate cause for Summers' resignation, other factors have been proposed as contributing to his critical loss of support among the majority of faculty members. The first is Summers' reputed leadership style, described by many as arrogant, blunt, and intolerant of dissenting opinions. Many faculty members claimed they felt intimidated into remaining silent when they disagreed with Summers. Along the same vein, several prominent administrators abruptly left (or were forced to leave) their positions during Summers' tenure: Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis, Associate Dean of the College, Dean of Freshmen , and finally Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences William C. Kirby. Another factor that has been proposed is a supposed substantive disagreement about the structure and philosophy of the undergraduate curriculum, amidst an intensive curricular review initiated during Summers' term. Summers proposed that more emphasis be put on undergraduate education and requested that professors take greater responsibility in teaching their undergraduate classes, as opposed to delegating to teaching fellows. Summers also encouraged Harvard to expand its international programs and connections, hoping that more students would have and use the opportunity to study abroad.
Re the Jan 2005 talk on women in science.
The members of the Harvard Corporation, the University's highest governing body, are in charge of the selection of the president and issued statements strongly supporting Summers.
FAS faculty were not unanimous in their comments on Summers. [....]
Summers had stronger support among Harvard College students than among the college faculty. One poll by the Harvard Crimson indicated that students opposed his resignation by a three-to-one margin, with 57% of responding students opposing his resignation and 19% supporting it. 
After the Harvard Corporation accepted Summers' resignation, hundreds of millions in pledged contributions were canceled by donors who were disappointed by the Harvard Corporation's failure to stand up to the college faculty . Harvard college alumni, as well as students and faculty at Harvard University's professional schools (in particular Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School), and other large donors generally supported Summers. Summers' dismissal was viewed by many as an indicator that the humanities faculty at the College had power that was disproportionately large relative to their contributions to the University, and that they would seek to use their entrenched position as tenured faculty to block curricular reforms, championed by Summers, that would place greater emphasis on math and science.
What's odd, iirc, is that it was the humanities departments that had failed to promote women ( 4 out of 36? ). Perhaps they were trying to blame Summers for their own failings.
Monday, November 24, 2008
- ^ a b Toxic Memo, Harvard Magazine, May-June 2001
- ^ a b text and commentary, The Whirled Bank (satirical website)
- ^ Housman, Daniel M., and Michael S. McPherson. Economics, Moral Analysis, and Public Policy. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- ^ an alternate source, The Jackson Progressive
- The Logic of a Free Market Economist, a critique of some of the economic logic in the mem
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
“The Crimson was one of the only publications to explicitly point out that he had never actually uttered the infamous phrase about ‘innate differences. ‘ ” Unfortunately, Summers’ habitual reaction to being (perhaps deliberately) misrepresented is like Gore’s on the ‘invented the internet’ misquote: Faced with a “media frenzy”, Summers’ “familiar script “ is “first declaring the whole thing a misunderstanding, then apologizing for unintentionally hurting any feelings, and finally taking institutional measures to rectify the problems some saw as the heart of the conflict.” [refhttp://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=506127 How Larry Got His Rep Published On Thursday, March 03, 2005 ]
[ These are all notes to add to previous entries. ]
re 1991 memo re
Summers apologized, telling his critics that the memo was supposed to be a “sardonic counterpoint, an effort to sharpen the analysis” and that he had not been advancing a serious policy option. The week after the story broke, the Economist came to Summers’ defense, editorializing in eerily familiar terms that if Summers “was merely trying to provoke debate,” “it is to be hoped that he succeeds—and that the Bank does not, instead, go silent on the subject.”
[ref ‘got his rep’] Unfortunately, Summers’ reaction to being (perhaps deliberately) misrepresented is like Gore’s on the ‘invented the internet’ misquote: //// quote ‘got rep’ re misunderstand/apologize/
RE MANNER OF SPEAKING Accusations of ‘abrasive/wonky personality’ were heard as early as ///, //howlong// before Bill and Hillary Clinton appointed Summers as Under Secretary to the Treasury at the beginning of their administration in 1993, putting him among the Clinton Wonks like Gore and Reno (and, at that time, Hillary). During his progress upwards through the Clinton Treasury, “Summers underwent a dramatic transformation, coating his famously bold personality with a keen sense of tact and thoughtfulness.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Longer leaked text of the 'Africa' memo
Sunday, November 9, 2008
In my opinion....
There are so many contributing or possibly contributing factors to to current financial mess, that anyone with any experience can be linked to some of those factors. What's clear is that the Clinton administration of the 90s cleaned up Bush Sr's mess, changing the biggest deficit (at that time) to the biggest surplus. From the beginning of the Clinton Administration in 1993, Summers was in Clinton's Department of the Treasury, as Under-Secretary and Deputy Secretary, before succeeding Rubin (who has been called "his mentor") as Secretary. As a strong supporter of Bill and HIllary Clinton, I would applaud the choice of Summers. To nitpick about some statements being less than PC (when read on the same level that brought us "Gore said he invented the internet") seems very counterproductive, and likely to bring both Bill Clinton and the feminists into disrepute. Summers was part of the most successful Treasury Department in several decades; let's bring him back and let him direct the next one.
UPDATE: I'll keep adding more info and links as I get them.
Someone posted elsewhere:
You may also be interested in his send-pollution-to-Africa memo:http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/summers.html
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
As undersecretary and deputy secretary of the Treasury, Summers worked closely with Secretaries Bentsen and Rubin in formulating domestic and international economic policies. He played a key role in designing the United States support program for Mexico in the wake of its 1995 financial crisis and in crafting the international response to the Asian financial crisis of 1997. As deputy secretary, Summers was also instrumental in the introduction of indexed Treasury debt securities, and in the reform of the Internal Revenue Service. When President Clinton appointed Summers as secretary of the Treasury, he called Summers “a critical part of our economic team during the entire life of this administration.”
During Summers’s tenure as secretary of the Treasury, the United States used budget surpluses to repurchase Treasury debt for the first time since the 1920's, and extended the life of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Summers led efforts to modernize the financial system, extend financial privacy protections, provide for digital signatures, and insure the viability of the over-the-counter derivatives market. Summers also championed reforms to address corporate tax shelters and predatory lending practices.