Lawrence H. Summers

(1954 - )

The New York Times - January 21, 2009

He was treasury secretary from 1999 until the end of Clinton administration. Known equally for brillinance and his blunt manner, Mr. Summers has a deep understanding of global economic issues, at a time when the American mortgage crisis has leaped borders to become a worldwide contagion.

"In teh current circumstance, the case for fiscal stimulus - policy actions that increase short-term deficits - is stronger than at any time in my professional lifetime", he wrote in his monthly column in the Financial Times in September. "Unemployment is now almost certain in increase - problably to the highest levels observed in a generation."

Larry Summers with John Sexton, NYU

His tenure at Harvard was not always a calm one. His aggressive personal style and sharp-edged remarks - including an observation that women might lack an intrinsic aptitude für math and science - provoked a bitter clash with the facult, forcing his resignation after five years. Though Mr. Summers apologized for the remark about women, women's groups were expected to object if he was nominated für a cabinet position.

After leaving Harvard, he turned his attention back to economics, making his debut as a monthly Financial Times columnist with a column titled "The Global Middle Cries Out for Reassurance." He has said that dealing with this anxiety - making globalization work for the masses - has become the central economic issue of the day.

Born Nov. 30, 1954, Mr. Summers graduated form M. I. T. and earned a Ph. D. at Harvard. He married a Havard English professor, Elisa New, in 2005, and has three children with his first wife, Victoria Perry.

Larry Summers with Michael Dukakis and  George McGovern