Lawrence Summers

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210-212px-Summers Lawrence.jpg

Full name: Lawrence Henry Summers

Area of interest: Economics

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email:; contacts page

Personal website: Harvard KSG faculty website: Lawrence H. Summers






About: American economist and academic. He served as the 71st United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. He was Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama until November 2010. He is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: BSc, 1975; Harvard: Ph.D. Economics, 1982; Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University

Career: Senior public policy positions in US: political economist - President’s Council of Economic Advisers; chief economist, World Bank; Secretary of US Treasury, 1999-2001; 27th president of Harvard University, 2001/2006; Harvard University Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Kennedy School; since 2009 is Director of the White House's National Economic Council for President Barack Obama

  • see Harvard KSG faculty website: BIO | CV (pdf)

Current position/role: (former FT chief economics commentator)

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role: Harvard University Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Kennedy School

Other activities: Part-time Managing Director of D.E. Shaw & Co


Viewpoints/Insight: Renaissance man, Guardian interview, 2005

Broadcast media:



  • Goldman Sacked - Greg Palast: Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?" - 16th September 2013
  • Larry Summers and the Secret "End-Game" Memo - Greg Palast: When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn't believe it - 22nd August 2013
  • Larry Summers is playing economic Jeopardy - Larry Summers’ considerable intellect suggests that he would be an excellent contestant on the popular game show Jeopardy. Of course, on the show, the question offered by the contestant must match the answer on the board. Summers and I disagree on the answer that matches the question “What is President Obama’s budget?” Let’s see why - Glen Hubbard, FT, 27th April 2012
  • Change means possibility and pain - 'Change within organisations always and everywhere involves loss. Sometimes the loss is small, as when the boss asks us to give up a familiar routine or move to a distant corner of the building. Sometimes it is of existential proportions, as when a new assignment challenges us to reconsider our values, status and career. Either way, distress is the inevitable result' - Simon London, Financial Times, 28th February 2006
  • Harvard row over sex and science - 'The president of Harvard University has caused a stir among academics by suggesting women have less innate ability at science and maths than men' - BBC News, 18th Januay 2005
  • see also: controversies - Wikipedia

Awards/Honours: John Bates Clark Medal, 1993 - given every two years to most outstanding American economist under forty years of age



Books & Debate:

Harvard Business Review on Leadership in a Changed World.jpeg
  • Understanding unemployment OCLC 15487448, 1990
  • Development and the environment OCLC 26146265, 1992
  • Investing in all the people: Educating women in developing countries OCLC 45730902, 1994 (
  • Curbing predatory home mortgage lending: a joint report OCLC 45177710, 2000
  • Renewing the Atlantic partnership OCLC 55110672, 2004 (with Henry Kissinger; Charles Kupchan)
  • Harvard business review on leadership in a changed world OCLC 53330764, 2004 (with C.K. Prahalad; Moss Kanter)

Forthcoming work: A Climate of Change Hamilton Project Ideas on Energy Security and Climate OCLC 231581671, 2009

(with Jason Furman, senior economic adviser to Barack Obama in his President campaign of 2008)

Latest work:



Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Economics

Section: Comment

Role: Contributor (former Chief economics commentator)



Website: FT.Com / Lawrence Summers

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Monday

Regularity: Monthly

Column format:

Average length: 900 words

Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2008

  • The pendulum swings towards regulation - There will be an enhanced role for government in saving the system from its excesses and inadequacies but policymakers need to be attentive to potential government flaws - 27th October 2008
  • Taxpayers can gain from bail-out - The idea has taken hold that the US will have to scale back its aspirations in areas such as healthcare. This is more wrong than right - 29th September 2008
  • The global consensus on trade is unravelling - The success of the next administration could depend on its ability to engage with a wider range of global economic stakeholders - 25th August 2008
  • The way forward for Fannie and Freddie - The choices made in the coming months will bear on the housing market, future taxpayers and the integrity of the political system - 28th July 2008
  • What we can do in this dangerous moment - The policy choices made in the next few months will matter to America’s economic strength and to the global economy - 30th June 2008
  • Six principles for a new regulatory order - Lawrence Summers joins the debate on proposed changes in regulation and crisis response by describing the properties of any desirable oversight regime - 1st June 2008
  • A strategy to promote healthy globalisation - US international economic policy needs to focus on issues in which the largest number of Americans have the greatest stake - 5th May 2008
  • America needs to make a case for trade - A model is needed that more successfully aligns the interests of people in rich countries with the success of the global economy - 28th April 2008
  • Steps that can safeguard America's economy - Neither US financial institutions nor the economy are likely to suffer from a lack of central bank liquidity provision - 31st March 2008
  • America needs a way to stem foreclosures - The American economic outlook remains highly uncertain. But macro­economic policy is now properly aligned, as the economy will benefit over the next several quarters from fiscal and monetary stimulus - 25th February 2008
  • Beyond fiscal stimulus, further action is needed - Markets and perceptions of the economic outlook change rapidly. Even two months ago most observers doubted predictions of a US recession, saw no need for a fiscal stimulus, and thought that inflation fears should constrain monetary policy - 28th January 2008

also: Harvard KSG faculty website: publications/articles (archive)

News & updates: