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Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Summers

Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Website: http://larrysummers.com/

 

 

By Publication Type

 

Rebecca Harms

May/June 2016

"The Fusion of Civilizations"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Affairs

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and Kishore Mahbubani

The mood of much of the world is grim these days. Turmoil in the Middle East, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and  millions of refugees; random terrorist attacks across the globe; geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe and Asia; the end of the commodity supercycle; slowing growth in China; and economic stagnation in many countries—all have combined to feed a deep pessimism about the present and, worse, the future.

 

Darron Birgenheier/CC

November 14, 2016

"A badly designed US stimulus will only hurt the working class"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Following a brief market plunge, the President-elect’s speech on Tuesday night was more conciliatory than many expected and emphasised his commitment to infrastructure investment. Investors have, on balance, concluded that the combination of a shift to very expansionary fiscal policy and major reductions in regulation in sectors ranging from energy to finance to drug pricing will raise demand and reflate the American economy.

 

 

White House/CC

November 1, 2016

"Ensuring Boston’s leadership in biomedical research"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

You don't have to be my age to remember when Route 128 powered the “Massachusetts Miracle” — the regional computer-technology boom created by first-rate science education and visionary entrepreneurship. And you don’t have to be a cancer survivor (as I am) to see in contemporary biomedical research the prospect of miracles in medicine powering a Boston-based biomedical boom.

 

 

Gage Skidmore/CC

October 9, 2016

"Voters sour on traditional economic policy"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

It is hard to escape the conclusion that there is a renaissance of populist authoritarianism

 

 

Andreas Praefcke, 30 September 2009

September 29, 2016

"The decline of the middle class is causing even more economic damage than we realized"

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

I have just come across an International Monetary Fund working paper on income polarization in the United States that makes an important contribution to the secular stagnation debate. The authors — Ali Alichi, Kory Kantenga and Juan Solé — use standard econometric techniques to estimate the impact of declines in middle class incomes on total consumer spending. They find that polarization has reduced consumer spending by more than 3 percent or about $400 billion annually. If these findings stand up to scrutiny, they deserve to have a policy impact.

 

 

Lynne Sladky/AP

August 7, 2016

"The progressive case for championing pro-growth policies"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Issues of inequality, fairness, middle-class living standards and job creation have been central to the US presidential campaign.

Rightly so.

For many years, the incomes of all groups tended to move together. Indeed, as a graduate student in the late 1970s, I was taught that it was a “stylised fact” that the shares of US total income going to profits and to wages, and to the rich and to the poor, was constant.

All of this has changed. It is totally appropriate that widening inequality and the associated stalling of middle-class living standards should become an urgent political issue.

 

 

AP Photo

July 10, 2016

"Voters deserve responsible nationalism not reflex globalism"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's victory in the Republican presidential primaries that voters are revolting against the relatively open economic policies that have been the norm in the US and Britain since the second world war.

 

 

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

July 6, 2016

"Interest rates are at inconceivable levels, and we must confront what that means"

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

The U.S. 10- and 30-year interest rates on Wednesday reached all-time lows of 1.32 percent and 2.10 percent. Record-low 10-year interest rates were also registered in Germany, France, Switzerland and Australia. Notably, Swiss 50-year interest rates are now for the first time negative. Rates out 15 years are negative in Germany and nine years in France.

 

 

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

June 24, 2016

"Why Brexit is worse for Europe than Britain"

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Brexit is in progress. If journalism is the rough draft of history, instant blog responses are even cruder responses to events. Nonetheless, here are some thoughts prior to markets opening in the United States.

 

 

Matt Rourke/AP

June 14, 2016

"The Fed is making the same mistakes over and over again"

Op-Ed, The Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

As the Federal Reserve meets today and tomorrow, I am increasingly convinced that while they have been making reasonable tactical judgement, their current strategy is ill adapted to the realities of the moment. Exuding soundness is the task of policymakers. Provoking thought is the task of academics. So here are some not-entirely-formed reflections.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.