OMG! Please Mr. Biden, please: Not Larry Summers.

Joe Biden Needs To Stay Away From Larry Summers | HuffPost
Biden and Summers. Oh, no, no, no, please, no.

I favor Joe Biden in the next election, not because I believe he will be a great President (He won’t), but because anyone or anything, even my pet Shetland Sheep Dog, will be a smarter, more honest, just all-around-better President than Donald (“bottom of the barrel“) Trump.

And my dog died years ago.

So I will take a deep breath and check the Biden box next November. But my patience with Joe (“far lesser of two evils”) Biden stretched when I read the following article. Excerpts:

In a Slap in the Face to Progressives, Biden Appoints Larry Summers, a “Literal Architect of Neoliberalism,” to Economic Advisory Role
Posted on April 28, 2020 by Yves Smith

Over the past three decades, Summers has amassed a policy record of almost unrivaled social ruin.
—Zach Carter, Huffington Post

In a slap in the face to progressives, Joe Biden, who has already announced that if he’s elected “nothing would fundamentally change,” has appointed the head of Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, Larry Summers, as a key adviser to his campaign.

Immediately, history-savvy readers may gasp, for if Barack (“The federal government should live within its means”) Obama was bad at anything, it was economics.

From a 2013 post on this site:

“Obama is the one who allowed the most regressive tax in US history (FICA) to rise about 25%, fired many thousands of government workers and repeatedly has stumped for reductions in Social Security benefits and reductions in other spending that would help the underclasses (his ‘Grand Bargain.’)”

Obama also became known as the “deporter-in-chief,” later to be surpassed only by the notorious Donald (“I know more about everything than anyone“) Trump.

The Yves Smith article continues:

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is advising Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on economic policy, including its plans to revive the U.S. economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Obama and Clinton administration veteran’s role roiled progressives who view his past work on the 2009 recovery as too favorable to big banks.

Two Sanders-aligned groups, Justice Democrats and Sunrise Movement, said Friday they “hope Biden publicly rejects Summers’s role as an economic adviser to better earn the trust of our generation.”

They said they also plan to start a petition calling on Biden to pledge to exclude Summers from his transition team or administration.

Please, where is that petition? I want to sign it. My wife will sign it. My children and grandchildren will sign it. My dead dog (who has caused fewer problems than Trump, but also caused way fewer than Summers) will sign it.

Summers is such a bad choice that The American Prospect writer Robert Kuttner put Summers at the top of his “do not re-appoint” list.

Here is what I published previously about Larry Summers:

As you know, Larry Summers is almost perfect. He has screwed up virtually everything he has touched (except raking in dollars for himself) (from Wikipedia):

“Summers said, ‘There isn’t a risk of an apocalypse due to global warming or anything else. The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit, is a profound error and one that, were it ever to prove influential, would have staggering social costs.’”

“There was a scandal when it emerged that some of (Summers’s) Harvard (Russian adviser) project members had invested in Russia, and were therefore not impartial advisers.

“Summers pressured the Korean government to raise its interest rates and balance its budget in the midst of a recession.”

“Summers was a leading voice within the Clinton Administration arguing against American leadership in greenhouse gas reductions.”

“As Treasury Secretary, Summers led the Clinton Administration’s opposition to tax cuts proposed by the Republican Congress.”

“Summers hailed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which lifted more than six decades of restrictions against banks offering commercial banking, insurance, and investment services (by repealing key provisions in the 1933 Glass–Steagall Act).”

Summers said, “The parties to these kinds of contract (derivatives) are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies.”

And let’s not even get into all his Harvard debacles. The list of Summers’s idiocy goes on and on. The above is but a short sample. The man is an economics clown.

Summers is the classic Peter Principle failure, having repeatedly been promoted so far above his abilities that his brain must have suffered from oxygen deprivation.

So aside from Biden wanting to ride Obama’s coattails into the Oval office, why would Biden choose such an obvious charlatan to be his economic advisor?

Yves Smith answers:

But as Rising’s Saagar Enjeti points out, the real group that Biden needs to assure isn’t Progressive Avenue or even Main Street — it’s Wall Street.

As Bloomberg put it, with this move Biden has “offered some reassurance [to] Wall Street that Biden is not moving too far to the left from the centrist positions that earned him his establishment support.”

As Robert Kuttner pointed out:

Obama’s team was headed by Jason Furman, a close protégé of investment bankerRobert Rubin.

But the most senior appointees would eventually be Lawrence Summers as head of the National Economic Council and Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary. They would make sure that the big banks would be bailed out rather than cleaned out.

[Note that under Obama and Summers not one high-level criminal banker was sent to jail. Jail was for people like shop-lifters and corner marijuana sellers, not billion-dollar bank crooks.]

Previously, under Clinton, Summers was a prime architect and huge enthusiast of what proved to be fatal financial deregulation.

He was also in charge of Clinton’s economic policy for post-Soviet Russia economic policy for post-Soviet Russia, and was responsible for pushing for early and catastrophic privatization of state assets, a fire sale that led directly to the creation of Russia’s oligarchs.

As president of Harvard, he proved to be both arrogant and sexist, to the point where he got himself fired. …

It just gets worse and worse:

[As Obama’s chief economic advisor, Summers] not only lowballed the necessary economic stimulus and ended it prematurely, but he successfully fought for rescuing the biggest banks rather than taking them into temporary receivership.

Back at Harvard, Summers earns over $600,000 as a university professor but also moonlights at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, where his compensation is well into the seven figures. (Some would say he moonlights at Harvard.)

There are so many ways that Summers is a bad choice, it’s difficult to enumerate them, though both Kuttner and the HuffPost’s Zach Carter try, “Over the past three decades, Summers has amassed a policy record of almost unrivaled social ruin.”

Then he lists the ways.

If Biden had said, “I know absolutely nothing about how to grow an economy. I need to hire the most stupid person in America, so I can look smart by comparison,” I would have suggested he choose between Larry Summers and Donald Trump.

How the heck did the United States of America, the most powerful nation in history, ever wind up with these two Presidential candidates, one of whom hired the most crooked and ignorant team ever, and the other of whom seems determined to do the same?

God help us all.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


3 thoughts on “OMG! Please Mr. Biden, please: Not Larry Summers.

  1. To answer your last question: It all began with the gradual dismantling over the years of the New Deal by Republicans beginning with the Eisenhower Administration which was infitrated by Wall Street types at the time. Their primary agenda was to knock out as many as possible of the New Deal legislation’s provisions. Little by little New Deal controls were either eliminated or watered down by the GOP because they interfered with massive money making. The attempt to restore integrity to government at the highest level gradually gave way to corruption, loss of real leadership and faith.


  2. I sympathise with your dilemma. I knew instantly that Obama’s rhetoric was worthless as soon as I saw him appoint Summers to his staff. The Obama failures made way for Trump’s failures. Trump is a dangerous clown, Summers is pure poison.


  3. Very simple: there is only one political party in America and it is separated by the D and the R behind everyone’s names politically. They purposely play games with the rest of us to trick is into thinking they don’t both have the same goal: increasing the Gap!


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