Steven Rattner for The New York Times: The Right Leader for the Fed

August 2nd, 2013

The New York Times
by Steven Rattner
August 2, 2013

Let me start by getting the disclosure stuff out of the way. I’ve known Larry Summers for 20 years and have watched with particular interest as his multifaceted career has unfolded. More recently, I worked for him in the Obama administration, when he was director of the National Economic Council and I was the lead adviser on the auto bailout.

As the debate has intensified over who should slide into Ben Bernanke’s chair as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Larry’s critics have been piling on, including dredging up examples of positions or decisions where they believe he was wrong.

No one is perfect, but I score Larry’s batting average and qualifications at the top of the heap. There’s that extraordinary intelligence: the most brilliant, most analytical and most surgical brain of anyone I’ve ever encountered.

That has helped him achieve a deserved reputation as a world-class economist — but one who has used his theoretical base to work on a broad range of real-world assignments.

His lengthy public service — which also included stints as chief economist of the World Bank and secretary of the Treasury — engaged him in a dizzying array of policy matters and thrust him to the front lines at times of crisis. And they provided him with the political chops of an experienced Washington hand.

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