Larry Summers

The NYT's Fuzzy Clintonite Math
January 07, 2011

I’m trying to understand the math in today’s NYT story by Michael Shear about Bill Clinton people in the Barack Obama Administration, begged to the announcements of Bill Daley as Chief of Staff and Gene Sperling to head the National Economic Council. Key quotes: The appointments add to the already significant ranks of Clintonites in Mr. Obama’s administration. Still, as some of Mr. Obama’s longtime advisers leave the White House, his decision to revamp his staff by tapping more veterans of Mr. Clinton’s administration is notable. Can we get a bit of a reality check?

Is the Favorite to Replace Larry Summers Too Close To Wall Street?
December 30, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] If you’ve spent much time talking to Treasury officials over the past two years, you’ve probably heard them joke that Gene Sperling, a counselor to Secretary Tim Geithner, is the department’s in-house populist. What makes this funny (insofar as wonk humor can be funny) is that Sperling isn’t exactly your classic pitch-fork wielder. He was director of Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council (NEC) in the late ‘90s, a period when the White House got pretty good marks for its understanding of business and the broader economy.

Editors' Picks: Best Books of 2010
and
December 22, 2010

The Bars of Atlantis: Selected Essays by Durs Grünbein Reviewing this collection of essays by Germany's pre-eminent contemporary poet, Helen Vendler wrote that "If Yeats’s aim was to hold in a single thought reality and justice, then Grünbein’s is to hold in a single thought poetry and philosophy." This book contains my favorite quote of the year.

So Is Roger Altman Replacing Larry Summers or Not?
December 14, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] Anyone interested in this question has no doubt read about Altman's multiple White House visits to discuss relieving Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council (NEC). And yet, here we stand, just days from Summers's planned departure--NEC staffers have been busy writing exit memos, as I understand it--without an announcement about his replacement.

What’s Eating David Axelrod?
September 27, 2010

Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.

A Possible Summers Successor and Her (Potential) Citigroup Problem (UPDATED)
September 24, 2010

The early frontrunner to succeed Larry Summers at the National Economic Council is Anne Mulcahy, according to various reports. Don’t feel bad if you’re wondering who she is or what her appointment would mean—while the former CEO of Xerox is well-known in the business community, there’s not much to tell about her life in politics.

Three Reasons You'll Miss Larry Summers
September 22, 2010

The post-election departure of Larry Summers is now official and plenty of progressives seem happy about it. As the argument goes, Summers has opposed liberals on net neutrality and Wall Street reform, while muffling would-be advisers trying to reach the president with more left-leaning advice. “This is a big victory for anyone who voted for change in 2008,” says Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. On the specifics, I suspect, these critics have it mostly right.

An Interview with Steven Rattner
September 20, 2010

Steven Rattner’s Overhaul hits bookstores this week. But if you were expecting shocking revelations about inner workings of the Obama White House, you’ll be disappointed. Yes, Ratther is the first former administration official to write a book about his time there. But the palace intrigue in Overhaul isn’t really that intriguing. So Rahm Emanuel drops a lot of f-bombs? Larry Summers can be a bully? At the risk of depressing Rattner’s sales, I think we knew that already. But Overhaul does offer something else—something I, for one, find a lot more valuable than Washington gossip.

An Interview with Steven Rattner
September 20, 2010

Steven Rattner’s Overhaul hits bookstores this week. But if you were expecting shocking revelations about inner workings of the Obama White House, you’ll be disappointed. Yes, Rattner is the first former administration official to write a book about his time there. But the palace intrigue in Overhaul isn’t really that intriguing. So Rahm Emanuel drops a lot of f-bombs? Larry Summers can be a bully? At the risk of depressing Rattner’s sales, I think we knew that already. But Overhaul does offer something else—something I, for one, find a lot more valuable than Washington gossip.

The Unnecessary Fall
August 12, 2010

A counter-history of the Obama presidency.

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