Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that former Treasury Secretary and Harvard
President Larry Summers is "hell-bent" on becoming the next U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman.
The more important issue, however, is whether Americans should want Summers involved in such a prominent role in the global economy.
Arguments that favor Summers center on the fact that when the building clears out in 2014, Summers will be one of the few individuals left with significant experience in the international financial system. With Timothy Geithner gone, Ben Bernanke leaving in 2014, and departures of David Lipton at the IMF Michael Froman at USTR, Summers is considered one of the last "battle tested" individuals left. He has significant experience following the 1994 Russian crisis, the 1997 Asian Crisis and the 2008 Great Recession.
But while experience in necessary, so is the importance of accomplishments.
Critics have argued that handing the keys of the U.S. economy to Larry Summers would be equivalent to allowing a blind sheepdog to protect Americans from wolves. Summers' past 25 years of experience is riddled with questions about his ability to understand crisis, his commitment to corporate influence, and his irrational pledge to illogical academic arguments.
Given that few in Washington seem to vet political appointees of this administration, we decided to explore several important questions about Summers' potential candidacy and past understanding of the Federal Reserve's role in the global economy.