Guest Post: Dear Larry Summers - You're A Funny Guy

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Deadhead

Dear Larry Summers: You’re a funny guy!

Larry:  So many of us really do appreciate your oft noted deep concern in regards to the unemployment situation in the USA as well as the big push to rein in the banks, but with thousands of comedians out of work, it just isn’t fair that you are delivering the best comedy and crowding out these comedians from their rightful work. 

You really banged it home the other day at the Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering in the city of CSO’s (Collateralized Shit Obligations), also known as the electronic pump and dump financial center, currently rated number 3 in the world, irrespective of Marc Haines’ daily claim otherwise.

Let’s take a look at a few of your statements from the conference that will certainly cement your odds of post Obama employment with Lorne Michaels.

"Financial institutions that have benefited from government support can, should and must use this moment to think about what they can do for their country -- by accepting the necessary regulation to protect the American people," Summers said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Economist's Buttonwood Gathering in New York. – Larry Summers

Larry…since when is it up to these institutions to “accept” regulations? The way the deal is supposed to work is that the American people via Congress pass laws to tell said institutions what they can do or not. You know what is even funnier?  We probably have all the laws and regulations already on the books but the regulators (surprise Larry, that would be the Executive Branch, where you work and have previously worked) have simply sat on their asses and looked the other way.  By the way, please don’t go all political and blame previous administrations because all administrations have been guilty of letting the cheat street banking crowd get their way.  So, cut the crap and publicly state that the Obama administration will aggressively enforce the law through the SEC, FDIC, OCC, OTS, CFTC, Treasury, and, oh yes, the FBI and Justice Department. We do not need any more words, we need action. Now.

"There is no financial institution that exists today that is not the direct or indirect beneficiary of trillions of dollars of taxpayer support for the financial system." – Larry Summers

Standing ovation on this one Larry because you are absolutely correct, notwithstanding your buddy Lloyd Blankfein’s hypocritical whining in last weekend’s WSJ.  Speaking of that, LB, have you retired that $22 Billion of FDIC TLGP debt that we American taxpayers are backstopping with our risk? For pete’s sake, when is Goldman Sachs going to go out to the cap markets and borrow like a big boy instead of continuing to hang on the FDIC teat?

Anyways, back to you Larry.  We taxpayers already know that we are supporting the banks, but essentially all that has happened is they have used that wall of money to go out and play in the financial market sandboxes, shuffling electronic greenbacks back and forth in yet another bubble induced paper profit extravaganza.  We are not producing economic growth or jobs in this manner and the banks certainly do not appear to be disgorging the huge amount of crap debt on their balance sheets, save for the allegedly independent Federal Reserve buying spree of MIAAHMBS (Mold Infested And Abandoned Houses Mortgage Backed Shit) through freshly devalued American dollars. Speaking of those balance sheets, how about you and the administration commenting on some reasonable financial approach to fix this mess, with definitive time standards, other than the menagerie of revised FASB 157 “mark it anyway you want”? Seeing that FASB 166/167 is effective Q1 2010 (unless the Amer. Bankers Assoc. can get off a Flutiesque Hail Mary pass and crush it), how about telling us American taxpayers what the administration’s official position is in regards to the necessary large increased capital requirements that will be necessary to offset the GCITOSIVFM (Grand Cayman Incoming Tsunami Of Special Investment Vehicle Fecal Matter)? I see the financial institutions are whining and moaning to Sheila Bair that the audacity of putting aside capital to cover massive incoming losses is anathema to them and would result in the complete and total annihilation and destruction of the United States of America by the time Q1 earnings are reported.  Seems to me that we have seen this movie before. 

From Mish’s site: “In calling for financial-services companies to accept new regulations, Summers said bank executives and other financial-industry managers should consider the recent financial crisis within the context of a broader set of crises that have occurred in recent years, including the Latin American debt crisis, the 1987 stock-market crash, the savings-and-loan debacle, the Mexican financial crisis, the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of Long Term Capital Management and the bursting of the dot-com bubble.”

Larry: that’s a real knee slapper for you to be giving a reminder that people who have been involved in the referenced crises should learn from their mistakes. So, where were you when all this happened? And Greenspan? And Bernanke?  And your pal Rubin? And the Wall Street crowd? How come no mention of the current derivative crisis, you know, the one mentioned by Brooksly Born when you were at Treasury? Didn’t you have some phone calls with her?

"[We have] one crisis every three years," Summers said. "Surely a system that produces this many accidents and accidents this severe is a system that is in very much need of reform."- Larry Summers

Larry: You got this comedy routine thing down pat because there is just nothing like ending with a big kaboom!  How about some more “reform” jokes like this:

Let’s just say for laughs that the historic debt levels of consumers, corporations, the Fed balance sheet (that part that the Fed tells us about, anyways) local/state/Federal governments as well as the enormous toxic debt of our financial system have been, ummmm, errr, uhhhh…. “contained”. Yes, that’s it: contained!  Tell the people that the monster has been “contained”. Oh joy, phew, we’re safe now!

How about we then have the Fed create zillions and zillions (that would be “Z” as in Zimbabwe) of new dollars and buy the toxic debt from various institutions? Hey, how about they then take that money and play in the stock market, driving up equity prices to P/E ratios higher than the average American can count and do yet another stock market bubble bath (you know, kind of like your examples of LTCM and the dot com bust)?  Americans will feel soooo good that the Dow Jones “hit 10,000”, just like 10 years ago, now that they have spent the last of their 201k on boxes of macaroni and cheese and the ever popular ramen noodles.  Let’s leave them dying in their seats by telling Main Street not to worry a bit, even though unemployment is still going to go up, it’s always a “lagging” indicator and we are entering a jobless recovery!  If that doesn’t work, perhaps we can get the mantra going that the same crew who got us here has new and improved economic engineering that is on the verge of the greatest economic theory of all time: The Growthless Recovery!  Surely that will kick the Dow to 12,000 and save some coin for the PPT on futures purchases.

Then, in a classically historical fashion, let’s prove once and for all, darnit, that a central bank like the Fed can successfully monetize the direct debt of a bunch of respectable and altruistic politicians (say, $300 billion for starters) with no adverse effects whatsoever? Hey, it’s different this time people, trust us, okay? 

Larry, I cannot tell you how many times I have read in many sources that you are “..the smartest guy in the room.” I’m also reminded that in the land of the blind, a one eyed man is king.

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Anonymous's picture


nice that someone should take the time to write Larry.

I particularly liked the new economic theory "growthless recovery"

And who was it that said that Larry was "the smartest guy in the room?" Wasn't that Larry himself?

deadhead's picture

i'm confident that Larry has noted that on many occasions. in fairness, i have read words to that effect on numerous occasions from several different sources.  of course, smart doesn't always equate to correct.

I am the mole's picture

I think it was when he was the last man in the men's room on Harvard's campus - while smiling in front of a mirror of course.

aint no fortunate son's picture

He's not listening deadhead, none of them are, not the administration, the Congress, the regulators and CERTAINLY not the banksters. They have all the answers, all the cash, all the power. They have their own bubble, born of those most poisonous of all attributes - arrogance, blind ambition and hubris.... and so they have their power bubble, and it insulates them from the masses they have enslaved. For now.

They haven't figured out yet that the one thing holding this country together is hope - hope that things really are going to get better someday... people will endure a lot of pain when they have hope... hope that they will have a job tomorrow, a home, a car, a credit card, an education for their children, a life. But take away that hope, their dreams, and what is there to hold the fabric of society together?


deadhead's picture

what is there to hold the fabric of society together

Perhaps we can try the truth for a change.

Hope and optimism are beautiful things and I mean that sincerely. They must not be based on falsehoods but rather trust, disclosures, and truth.

ZerOhead's picture

Don't know DH... truth will unite the fabric of society together in a state of rage unfortunately... and if no changes are forthcoming that rage may morph into some nastiness...

Hope for justice to prevail may have longer legs. 

That said something (mark my words) is going to give... and I'm glad I'll be in another country when it does.

Cistercian's picture

 Truth, what a concept.The almost total lack of it not only aids those who are looting the entire world, it also serves to prevent any course change.If only more people had an idea of how grim our future is without a major course/policy change, there would be more hope!I hope zero hedge gets really, really popular.

 IE:I agree with you totally.

aint no fortunate son's picture

I'm not sure the People are ready to settle for the truth anymore. There is a deep resentment bordering on rage growing.

Anonymous's picture

That's what I am beginning to see. I sincerely hope our government folks see the light and rein the thieves in before a real problem develops.

monopoly's picture


You have some awesome folks posting here. What a pleasure to come to your site and hear the truth, and with color.

Glad I am on board.

The best,


Dkizzle49855's picture

Great job DH.  That is why I come here everyday for my dose of reality.

Miyagi_san's picture

We are the front line in this fight and each should sharpen his tools. Even moms can spread the word at bingo that this administration is complicite in the biggest heist of all time.

McGriffen's picture

Well said and excellent points...the use of alphabetical groupings is spot on.

adding hot dogs and bologna to the grocery listing.  Ramen is just empty calories (but loaded with healthy MSG & sodium !)

Would be even better, to include the classic 'Goodfellas' clip when Liotta calls Pesci a 'funny guy' (!)

spekulatn's picture

Great stuff dh. 



Fritz's picture


Walter Sobchak for Treasury Secretary


lynnybee's picture

I also just love this website & would like to give a big thank you to the creators of this website.     I am an older person who is really getting an education regarding the financial world & I just love it !    THANK YOU TYLER !     Sincerely.......

JR's picture

Frenzied applause, stamping of feet, cheers and a standing ovation from this quarter, Deadhead. Absolutely, absolutely the greatest!

Fritz's picture

The truth would be a good start. It would be a great start.

Unfortunately, revealing the truth of.....

- government sanctioned bank fraud

- budget deficits $1 tril + (as far in the future as the eye can see)

- criminal theft of taxpayer money to enrich the banks

- epic fail monetary and fiscal policy for the last 10 years just not a task our public servants have the stones for. 



docj's picture

- epic fail monetary and fiscal policy for the last 96 (give-or-take) years

FIFY - otherwise, spot-on.

Cheers -

ZerOhead's picture

Kudos DH...

Where have Larry's supporters gone?

Yankee's picture

Check out New Yorker last week or so ago, big bit on larry (sleeping in meetings included) and also story on wave charters.  Author is Paumgarten, initial subject is Martin Armstrong

ZerOhead's picture

Thanks Yankee...

The first thing an intelligent military planner will tell you to do before you take on an adversary is to 'know' or 'understand' him. 

This is something everyone should read if they wish to get a measure of the man who is an integral part of "The economic recovery team".

Combine that with the tale of Obama's stint as president of the Harvard Law Review (or whatever they call it) and how little things changed... well I think we all get the picture of where this is going... nowhere good.

tip e. canoe's picture

if Mr. Summers were really smart & truly open to dissenting opinions as long as they passed the intellectual sniff test, he would utilize the cheap labor in the prison system and hire Martin Armstrong for the CEA at the pay grade of $0.99/hr.

then again, he's probably reading MA's 'joints from the joint' for free just like we are.


Anonymous's picture

Send this to Dylan Ratigan and have him read it on the air.

He can always get another job, somewhere.

Anonymous's picture


We will pretend to work, and they will pretend to pay us from now on. Independent/small biz incentive has evaporated. The means of capital production has shifted to the SE Asian part of the world and to the fascist global corporations as well as their banksters. Time for a reality check, wake up call, and a new standard of living Amorica. Gravity kills. Time to go underground and survive the impending revaluation?

Remember the FED is only supposed to assume common equities as collateral on their balance sheet in "unusual and exigent circumstances". Remember that ANYTHING on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet is backed by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury (taxpayer).

The burning and looting of the treasury/taxpayer has never been more blatant, obvious, and mathematically unstable. When the taxpayer steps in front of private bond/stock
holders to bailout/absorb losses by private for profit corporate banksters the game ends. Nobody voted for this shit. Here we are making a MSMedia circus about public health care to the tune of $850 billion (GAO estimate) for five years of 'healthcare'. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: $700 billion in TARP money flies out the window with no accountability, and the federal reserve has loaded their balance sheet with POMO/QE/MBS/Agency purchases into the TRILLIONS worth of garbage toxic bad bets. I'm done funding the F*$#&NG casino!!!

Privatized gains and publicized losses by private corporations must not be tolerated. If the banksters keep this horseshit up -they're gonna find out what burning and looting is all about!!!!


Anonymous's picture

"Larry, I cannot tell you how many times I have read in many sources that you are '..the smartest guy in the room.'”

He was in the ladies room at the time...

Charley's picture

"Larry, I cannot tell you how many times I have read in many sources that you are '..the smartest guy in the room.'”


I remember that. He had accidentally walked into the ladies room...

RichardP's picture

So - assume you manage to convince a critical mass of citizens that the looting of assets is real and ongoing.  Denial being a necessary part of survival for all, all/most will conclude that it is the other folk's stuff that is being looted, not theirs, so no need to get excited.  In many cases, folks believe stuff is happening only when it happens to them.  I see the main job as convincing folks that the looting is happening to them, not convincing them that looting is going on.  In that effort, how does one get past the "I can't see it (the looting of my assets), so it doesn't exist" response?  By the time that their assets are gone enough that they can see they themselves have been looted, they may not have the means to respond (they won't have a pitchfork left to pick up).


P Kennedy's picture

TD - the only little flaw in your story is that Summers has been running around these days saying even he cannot get the ear of the president. So, maybe its all Christine's fault

deadhead's picture

P Kennedy: could you (or anybody else) please elaborate on this matter of summers not having the President's ear? I have yet to come across anything on this matter and would be most interested to hear any chat.  my impression is that romer is a back seat player.

is Obama starting to listen to Volcker? someone else? too involved with foreign affairs, health care?


JR's picture

Larry says as President Obama's chief economic advisor that he can’t get the ear of Barack Obama?  Uh, huh.  Well, anyway, why would Larry care, he can get the ear of Goldman Sachs, infinitely more important.  Goldman paid top Obama economics adviser Larry Summers $135,000 for a one-day visit to Goldman.

Goldman Sachs is president! Better read Glenn Greenwald’s: Another Goldman executive named to key government post as its profits skyrocket: A Goldman executive today becomes key enforcement official, joining a long list of his colleagues in key posts.

Greenwald writes that Goldman’s seizure of top financial posts in the government is “The opposite of free market capitalism:  it is the Federal Government intervening for the benefit of a tiny sliver of oligarchs who fund and own the government itself.”

Greenwald quotes several people including former IMF economist and current MIT professor Simon Johnson as to what happens when the unrestrained power and recklessness of “deeply corrupt oligarchs” spawn a financial crisis:  "at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government . . . Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk -- at least until the riots grow too large."

deadhead's picture

"at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government . . . Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk -- at least until the riots grow too large."

The merry-go-round of history continues unfettered......

Anonymous's picture

Yep, "Change that we can believe in!"

tip e. canoe's picture

p.s. quit hoggin the donuts bi-atch

Anonymous's picture

Once again Deadhead is dead on. Thanks for the laughs.
Ratigan is reading this site, in fact he's probably participating. Not that he needs any help, but some of his stuff seems to have been born here at zero.

gossamer's picture

once again Deadhead is dead on. Thanks for the amusement.  What's that saying?  "The truth hurts".  Well our friend Larry has provided us with another saying......"The truth is efffin hilarious"

Rainman's picture

When government begs anybody or anything to " accept regulation ", it is a dead-on indicator of whooz in charge.


Voluntarism and financial regulation have never been loyal partners. Never have been, never will be. 

Anonymous's picture

I had great fun reading this -thank you DH!

Bob's picture

That was simply Great, DH!  You the man. 

Ned Zeppelin's picture

DH - I was about to pen a note on the right-on-target quality of this fine epistle when I checked back and noted its authorship.


deadhead's picture

NZ....I do hope you will please continue to comment on the bac/ml/sec/cuomo matter; your experienced legal view is very important to many of us....i think it is becoming and will end up being quite the show.  i just cannot see how this bell can be unrung and swept under the rug.

Thurgy's picture

likes this post

Screwball's picture

MIAAHMBS (Mold Infested And Abandoned Houses Mortgage Backed Shit) - the coffee out my nose line.

Funny stuff Deadhead - even if it's not really funny in reality.

Your time and effort is greatly appreciated.  Keep them coming.

Ich bin ein whatever's picture

Thanks for slogging through that deadhead.  i consider that "taking one for the team".

Larry Summers is a crashing bore and he puts me right to sleep.

I have often thought that the pharmaceutical companies have missed the marketing opportunity of a lifetime to make money off of Larry Summers.  And they don't have to pay their people in the labs a dime to create any new drugs.

All they have to do is sell Larry Summer's DVD's through a pharmacy as a cure for insomnia and charge a $10 copay.  From your article, they could cross-market it to people suffering from depression...but alas, I don't get that benefit from "the Larry Summer's drug".  He puts me right to sleep.  He drones on and on and on and on...

Timothy Geithner is equally boring but he pisses me off too much.  Non-tax paying, cronyist, owned by the banksters and not doing a damn thing for the common guy weasel.  At least Summers makes no secret of the fact that he's an elitist prick.

Thanks for the article, deadhead!

Anonymous's picture

Hey DH, re post 103609, sorry, I'm doing a quick look see post. Your scepticsm is same as mine, but thats what my research service was telling me ( don't ask, but Summers used them when testing the basic outlines of the Recovery Act ). The conversation involved the Pelosi Pork we know as the Recovery Act, and how it has boxed out the size of any follow on fiscal help by wasting deficit "capacity".

Not sure if Romer is in the back of the bus, but she's been kept off stage ever since she let a few quips fly about needing another stimulus sometime early 2010, way back in May if I recall.

If Volker is getting more airtime, it would be consistent with Summers getting less, though I'm not hearing anything along those lines. Twould be a good trade...

P Kennedy's picture

Hey DH re that one from one of my research services ( don't ask, but they were one of the dozen or so that were used by Summers to model out the Recovery Act in its rudimentary form ). It came out in the context of how the Pelosi Pork Recovery  Act has really boxed out any follow on stimulus by using so much deficit "capacity"...for essentially nothing

Not sure if Romer is in the back of the bus, but she sure was yanked offstage after letting a few hints fly that another stimulus was already in the design stage...way back in May if I recall

Volker getting more airtime would be consistent with Summers getting less, but haven't heard anythiing along those lines. Twould be a good trade, though...