Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview with Larry Summers

This is well worth a read. The link is to Felix Salmon's post about the interview; you can get to the interview from there.

The best bit is about the Winklevoss boys, a.k.a. the Winklevii, and the scene related to them from the Facebook movie:
MR. ISAACSON: So was that scene in the social network true?
DR. SUMMERS: I've heard it said that I can be arrogant.
DR. SUMMERS: If that's true, I surely was on that occasion. One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an asshole.
(Laughter; applause.)
DR. SUMMERS: This was the latter case. Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind.
I found the bit near the end where Summers compares the management styles of Clinton and Obama quite interesting. I am probably more like Clinton, to the extent I ever manage anything. Not sure where I would have picked up that management style.

I was also quite impressed with Larry's very moderate partisanship. Unlike certain other famous economists (well, one particular famous economist with a column in the New York Times), Larry finds much good to say about Republicans and about certain of their policy proposals. He really seems to have thought about issues, both political and economic, from multiple perspectives and learned from the experience of having done so. Note, for example, the positive remarks about tort reform and the lukewarm enthusiasm for green technology.

Like Felix Salmon, this interview raised my opinion a lot and helped to fill in why people I know who know Larry personally, as I do not, hold him in such high esteem.

Via: MR

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