Comments: From The Desk Of Larry Summers

Mr Schwarz, you asked the commenters to be polite but my blood is boiling and I will not be responsible for what I write so I will quit NOW.

ps I presume, these are genuine documents!

Posted by Rupa Shah at November 5, 2008 02:51 PM

Yes, Summers really did write the quoted memo. It's online somewhere.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at November 5, 2008 03:02 PM

I've always wondered why Zapatistas and Kashmiri yak herders were so enviably hirsute. Now I know.

Posted by Labiche at November 5, 2008 03:12 PM

Rupa Shah,

You asked about documentS. Only the first one is genuine. The latter were satires written by Mr. Schwarz and Mr. Gerber in response.

Posted by thwap at November 5, 2008 03:37 PM

I'm really glad Obama won, but I alredy hate his fisrt appointment. Rahm Emanuel makes me want to puke. On the other had, since I'm perverse, I actually feel good not being 'in love' with our new president-elect.

Posted by Vesna at November 5, 2008 03:43 PM

So much for a vacation and "a few days off from thinking about everything horrible I know about the US political system," eh, Jon?

Posted by darrelplant at November 5, 2008 04:09 PM

Summers hates karaoke?!? What a turd.

Posted by bluestateleftist at November 5, 2008 04:46 PM

Some might enjoy the musical version of Summer's inspiring memo here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG7xONmZz0Q

Posted by John Halle at November 5, 2008 04:58 PM

Back when I subscribed to Multinational Monitor I was always keen to check who'd won their monthly Lawrence Summers award, awarded to the most deserving of which ever economist, mogul or flack had said or done something as idiotic as that memo. Summers claimed later he was being ironic. Or perhaps "ironic".

Posted by RobWeaver at November 5, 2008 06:40 PM

Thanks to everyone who enlightened me about the real memo and the other two, a result of creative imagination but very convincing. For me, even one is one too many. And yes, I read the whole memo and as the Brazilian minister said then and many others are saying now, world bank and ( even IMF ) should go out of business.
Mr Summers, I guesss is highly educated but I guess does not know the meaning of scruples! and "callous" must be his second name!! If he does become the secretary of treasury, is he going to say, "The poor do not need money. What they do not have, they will not miss"!!!!

As far as Mr. Rahm Emanuel is concerned, he told one of the Illinois democratic candidates running for congress, he would get no financial support from DNC if he did not give unconditional support to Israel ( support--yes, but unconditional!!).

Posted by Rupa Shah at November 5, 2008 08:49 PM

Hm. This just seems like a Realpolitik observation. The Clinton White House recognized political realities (or thought it did) and acted accordingly. The anticipation of the desires of industry was useful then, and now. Notice the qualifier "economically". I'd be interested to read the rest of the memo. Perhaps it will be more damning overall than the selected quote.

Posted by me at November 6, 2008 10:11 AM

Sadly, there's a bit too much truth to the first phony letter in your piece, as pharmaceutical companies have been conducting drug tests on India's poor (and disregarding established ethics in the process) for years:

http://www.wired.com/medtech/drugs/news/2005/12/69595

Posted by NadavT at November 6, 2008 02:51 PM

Re the New Yorker page image at
http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002678.html

To fix the bleed-through from the ink on the back side of the page, rescan like this:

Put a sheet of black paper behind the page (on top of it in the copier/scaner). That makes everything behind the paper layer equally dark and the copier/scanner reads a higher contrast image showing you only the front side of the paper -- the article you're trying to scan -- without picking up any contrast from the print on the back.

Don't have a sheet of black paper handy? Open the lid of the copier/scanner and push the button.
Wastes a lot of toner, but makes one perfectly even black sheet.

Save for reuse, forevermore.

Posted by Hank Roberts at November 9, 2008 01:55 PM

Re the New Yorker page image at
http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002678.html

To fix the bleed-through from the ink on the back side of the page, rescan like this:

Put a sheet of black paper behind the page (on top of it in the copier/scaner). That makes everything behind the paper layer equally dark and the copier/scanner reads a higher contrast image showing you only the front side of the paper -- the article you're trying to scan -- without picking up any contrast from the print on the back.

Don't have a sheet of black paper handy? Open the lid of the copier/scanner and push the button.
Wastes a lot of toner, but makes one perfectly even black sheet.

Save for reuse, forevermore.

Posted by Hank Roberts at November 9, 2008 01:57 PM