What is your outlook?

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

Larry Summers sees tremendous potential in America's ability to deal with looming challenges.

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Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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