So the big guy will do what it takes to make people pay attention to him. Even if that means contradicting himself by calling into question (a) policies he presumably had a hand in crafting back when he was telling President Obama and his old buddy Lil’ Tim Geithner how to run the economy and (b) policies he’s championed since heading back out into the real world to make some money. To wit: His former protégé should not have spent all of that time undermining what Ben Bernanke was doing by issuing all of that long-term debt Larry called for to pay for bridges and airports and whatnot.
In a paper presented Tuesday at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Summers and three co-authors argued that the crosswinds had reduced the Fed’s impact by about a third, slowing growth and leaving more Americans jobless….
On Tuesday, Mr. Summers, who at one point was widely assumed to be Obama’s top choice to be Fed chairman, brushed aside those apparent contradictions. He embraced the role of a provocateur who was, in effect, criticizing his former colleagues — not least the former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner.
Now as Provacteur, Summers Says Treasury Undermined Fed [NYT TheUpshot blog]