Saturday, April 4, 2009

Larry Summers and Sarah Palin: Separated at Birth?

Now we have the news that Larry Summers, chief White House economic advisor, "received about $5.2 million over the past year in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from major financial institutions." (WSJ) The man has a huge conflict of interest, which apparently he believed just did not matter. So. Put that together with the huge lack of empathy which cost Summers the Presidency of Harvard (Summers argued, echoing talking Barbie, that women were inherently less good at math). Then we have Harvard fund analyst Irene Mack, who Summers had fired for finding the fund management incompetent and raising the issue.

A while back, I linked Teresa Nielsen Hayden's article on Sarah Palin as a narcissist. And I got to thinking, well, what are the differences between Palin and Summers? There seem to be three: Summers is a guy, Summers is actually smart rather than just over-confident, and Summers is the trusted son of of privilege. But why would you put someone so arrogantly wrong-headed in charge of, well, anything? The answer seems to be that rich, well-connected people liked the way his theories supported their privilege. And now he is one of the most powerful economists in the world.

[Added] I suppose Summers dislikes women because they see through him. You hominids are sick with testosterone poisoning.



Neil Bates said...

Why is Obama tapping so many of these, eh, testosterone-soaked Wall Street slicksters anyway?

(Surfed in from Kos, I like your handle as fan of don Juan Matus and the Baltimore Ravens ...)

Neil Bates said...

Sorry, I meant to say via Brad DeLong ...