What is your outlook?
Lawrence H. Summers is an American economist. He is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University, where he became one of the university's youngest tenured faculty at age 28.
The author of over 150 journal articles, Dr. Summers' wide-ranging contributions to economic research were recognized with the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40. He was also the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award for outstanding scientific achievement.
Beyond his academic career, Dr. Summers has held a number of distinguished appointments in government. He previously served as Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration, Secretary of the Treasury for the Clinton Administration, and Chief Economist of the World Bank.
Lawrence Summers received his S.B. from MIT and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He and his wife Elisa New, a professor of English at Harvard, have six children.
Lawrence Summers: I think I’m more optimistic than I would have been ten or twenty years ago. I’m more optimistic because I see more lives being made better, more than at any time of the history of the planet. I’m more optimistic because I see the tremendous potential of the United States. I see the resilience of a global economy that has proven more resilient to all kinds of shocks, from Russia’s default, to Mexico’s near default. It’s proven itself more resilient than many would have supposed. I see here at Harvard the tremendous commitment to transcend selfishness on the part of an extraordinarily able group of young people who we assemble. All of that together probably makes me have more optimism – though a worried optimism – than I would have had ten or twenty years ago.
Recorded On: June 13, 2007
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