Larry Summers Revisited

Bill Tatro
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Posted: Jul 27, 2013 12:01 AM

Oh my goodness, what an absolute delight it would be — I’m referring to the chance of being a historian years from now as the books are written, comprehensively describing the financial crisis of 2007-2008.  I’m sure that many of the books will focus on the whys and wherefores; they’ll write about the heroes and the villains as fingers will be pointed, alleged answers will be provided, reasons will be pondered, and excuses will be given.  If you’re a liberal, you’ll be writing about the notion that everything was the responsibility of George W. Bush.  If you’re a conservative, you’re book will focus on such things as the infamous words of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she proclaimed, “We have to pass the bill (Obamacare) so that you can find out what’s in it.”  Ah, yes, there will definitely be great food for fodder.

However, if I was the author, I would emphasize the so-called great legislators and statesmen of our time.  Indeed, how could anyone ever forget the following list of notorious characters, including Ben (subprime is contained) Bernanke, John (victorious in Afghanistan, now it’s on to Syria) McCain, Tim (I forgot to pay my taxes) Geithner, John (pass the handkerchief) Boehner, and even Anthony (it won’t happen again) Weiner.  Nevertheless, I think the focal point of my book would focus on that certain someone who undeniably stands head and shoulders above all of them — Larry (I’m back) Summers.  Having recently read that Summers is now the favorite to become the new Federal Reserve Chairman, I’m overwhelmingly thrilled for future historians.  Just imagine discussing that Summers was one of the men who almost single-handedly destroyed Glass-Steagall, and think of the utter excitement about his involvement in keeping derivatives from being regulated.  In addition, simply envision the data to be unearthed regarding Summer’s near total destruction of the Harvard endowment fund by dabbling with his hedge fund buddies.  Moreover, I’m quite certain that many writers will deal with Summer’s stellar advice to President (stimulus package protagonist) Obama and Christina (shovel-ready jobs) Romer in relation to the ill-advised theory that an increase in governmental public spending actually decreases unemployment.

On the other hand, I honestly believe all of Larry Summer’s prior actions will be considered child’s play when compared to the sheer havoc that he would wreak as the new Fed Chairman.  Undoubtedly, under the leadership of Summers, the Federal Reserve’s “guarantee” flag would be flying in all its glory.  Pension insolvencies?  No problem, it’s Fed guaranteed.  Banks to utilize mark-to-model valuations?  No problem, it’s Fed guaranteed.  A collapsing small business environment due to Obamacare?  No problem, it’s Fed guaranteed.    

Yes, it will truly be an exciting time to be an historian, as they’ll have the wonderful opportunity to recall one of the worst periods in American history.  

And just a closing thought regarding a potential book title: Obama Hires the Fox to Guard the Henhouse.