Larry Summers Resumes Exercises In Pontificating Sophistry

Tyler Durden's picture


Over the weekend, just because apparently someone really needed content at any cost (in this case zero), we got a new intellectual stillborn from none other than the man who more than anyone is responsible for the global economic collapse the world has been in for the past 4 years, and from which it is nowhere even close in escaping. The man of course is Larry Summers, who first crushed global finance, then Harvard, and finally Obama's economic platform, whom the FT saw fit to give the chance to pontificate on such concepts at growth and austerity, because apparently, growth through austerity, whereby banking sector debt is written down in parallel is not growth, but there is some subsegment of "growth", heretofore unknown, that Europe has not tried before, and will instead focus on that going forward. To paraphrase Lewis Black: don't think about that sentence too hard, or blood will shoot out of your nose.


Once again Europe’s efforts to contain its crisis have fallen short. It was perhaps reasonable to hope that the European Central Bank’s longer-term refinancing operation to provide nearly $1tn in cheap three-year funding to European banks would halt the crisis for a while if not resolve it. It is now clear it has been little more than a palliative. Weak banks, especially in Spain, have bought more of the debt of their weak sovereigns while foreigners have sold down their holdings. Markets see banks grow ever more nervous. Again, both Europe and the global economy approach the brink.


In any policy sphere a great debate always follows signs of failure. The architects of the current policy and their allies argue that the problem lies in insufficient determination to maintain the existing strategy. Others argue for a change in course, a view that seems to be taking hold among European electorates – and rightly so. There is a good chance that much of what is being urged is likely to be not just ineffective but counterproductive in terms of maintaining the monetary union, restoring normal financial conditions and government access to markets, and re-establishing growth.


Unfortunately, Europe has misdiagnosed its problems and set the wrong strategic course. Outside Greece, which represents only 2 per cent of the eurozone, profligacy is not the root cause of problems. Spain and Ireland stood out for their low ratios of debt to gross domestic product five years ago with ratios well below Germany. Italy had a high debt ratio but a very favourable deficit position. Europe’s problem countries are in trouble because the financial crisis under way since 2008 has damaged their financial systems and led to a collapse in growth. High deficits are much more a symptom than a cause of their problems.

And here is Dr. Larry with his best Greg House impersonation:

Treating symptoms rather than causes is usually a good way to make a patient worse. So it is in Europe. Its financial problems stem from lack of growth. In any financial situation where interest rates far exceed growth rates, debt problems spiral out of control. The right focus for Europe is on growth. In this context increased austerity is a step in the wrong direction.

Keep the previous in mind as you read one of ours quotes of the week (month, year, and maybe even decade) from October 2011, which also happened to come from the same corpulent creature:

Presented without commentary:

"The central irony of financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending."

- Larry Summers, source

And somehow this individual is seen as fit to opine on symptoms and underlying causes, on cause and effect.



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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:20 | 2384945 malikai
malikai's picture

Slick Larry to the rescue!

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:42 | 2385008 IToldYouSo
IToldYouSo's picture

Wanker..... what a fat, sweaty, slobbery, useless excuse for a cunt!

I'm sorry for my language but I get a little sick in my mouth everytime I hear that twats name and remember what he's done and said in the past

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:43 | 2385014 greased up deaf guy
greased up deaf guy's picture

what a tool.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:05 | 2385069 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Tenured Douchewoggle Extraordinaire.   With a Magna Cum Laude PhD in BOIL

Bullshit, Obfuscation, Incompetence, and Larceny.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:16 | 2385097 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:24 | 2385113 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Thanks for the resize. First time that pic took up most of my monitor. Skeery, it was.

In other news, I'm now wondering if it was Summers that Lewis Black overheard.

"If it weren't for that horse, I'd never spent that year in college."

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:56 | 2385210 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

This picture is all wrong.  The fat is in the head and concentrated in the ego.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:03 | 2385071 malikai
malikai's picture

I think the morale of the story here is that we need to think happy thoughts during the election year. Another 2008 style election year will be bad for Obama, so we got to put on the smiles again. We can have our collapse (and inflation excelsior moment) after Obama's been reelected.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:54 | 2385355 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Well said sir. Well said indeed.

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 11:14 | 2539511 Nagelstudio
Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:20 | 2384951 digitlman
digitlman's picture


Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:22 | 2384952 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

Faily fail FAIL.

Makes sense though.

Obama: "I'm going to fix the economy by injecting taxpayer money and debt into the economy, and then taxing it again."

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:21 | 2384957 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

I have used that exact quotation many times to demonstrate the insanity of these individuals.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:21 | 2384958 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Dear Larry, 

There is no good news today.

Can you please go off and die some where and make us happy?

with slight regard


Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:21 | 2384959 Manthong
Manthong's picture

He’s the “drink until you sober up“ guy, right?

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:39 | 2385086 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Summers is the Sociopath that said Africa's economic Comparative Advantage was being a chemical and nuclear waste dumping site as the governments were too weak to stop illegal dumping by the rich western countries - who could simply threaten to cut off aid if Africa bitched about said illegal dumping.

So Summers said let's embrace that -

Predatory Sociopath.

Too bad summers and cheney can't get together for a mass suicide.

Didn't we hang a bunch of these types after WW 2?

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:50 | 2385193 IToldYouSo
IToldYouSo's picture

Didn't we hang a bunch of these types after WW 2?

Obviously not enough of them. Appears their fucking genes still keep turning up in the pool

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:02 | 2385225 marriedgeordie
marriedgeordie's picture

i thought people of Summers type were being exterminated during WW2, not by us, though

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:23 | 2384963 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

I am so tired of economists, their false platitudes and their cousins the lawyers, I am about ready to puke.

One management consultant put it in very easy terms to remember.  It's whats in your checking account that is important.  You either have money or you don't.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:26 | 2384972 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

I'm so tired of going to the bank and having tellers ask me why I don't have (or want to) open a checking account that gets 1% interest.

My response is always, "What good is a savings account when the interest doesn't exceed inflation?"

I love the deer in the headlights look they always give me.  Priceless.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:44 | 2385016 TonyCoitus
TonyCoitus's picture

Obviously the problem lies not with the tellers, generally, they're very nice helpful people just doing their job.  Don't shoot the messangers, aim for the ivory tower, if you can find it.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:24 | 2384964 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture



because Banksters are ...................................................................

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:25 | 2384965 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

If anyone could make me puke just by seeing them,it would be lawrence summers.

Fuck off and die old man,.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:25 | 2384966 Timmay
Timmay's picture

Does Austerity ultimately mean, "the shit you should have been doing that would have kept you from being in this mess in the first place?"

If so, wouldn't that mean that the U.S. had "austerity" measures in place after the Great Depression and then removed them to "focus on growth?" Look were we are now because of it.

Where is Mitt Romney on this? Oh yeah, "growth" is his answer too.

 Growth people, it was right in front of our faces all along!

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:26 | 2384969 goldnguns
goldnguns's picture

"The central irony of financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending."


My VISA and Mastercard tend to disagree.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:28 | 2385279 Matt
Matt's picture

You just need to apply for new cards and do a balance transfer every six months to keep the low promotional rates. Try to keep each card under 50 percent, so you can keep getting more cards. You can keep spending more and more, as long as you keep getting new cards and using those promo rates.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:27 | 2384974 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

lulz larry lulz summers lulz

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:32 | 2384985 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You mean Jabba the Hut?

Larry Summers and friends

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:34 | 2384995 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

He can doo for Amurka what he did for that Harvard Endowment. :snark:

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:44 | 2385017 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Looks like my Jabba the Hut image was declared verbotten.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:32 | 2385141 malikai
malikai's picture

Nevertheless, the image shown would be appropriate for shoving in slick larry's face.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:29 | 2384977 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

In any policy sphere a great debate always follows signs of failure. The architects of the current policy and their allies argue that the problem lies in insufficient determination to maintain the existing strategy. Others argue for a change in course, a view that seems to be taking hold among Fed Reserve Members – and rightly so. There is a good chance that much of what is being urged is likely to be not just ineffective but counterproductive in terms of maintaining the monetary health of the US, restoring normal financial conditions and re-establishing growth.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:31 | 2384980 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Larry couldn't get worse even if he drank brake fluid. Then again wasn't he the guy that lost Harvard University $1.8 billion with rotten advice? Such a darling. The whole family must be proud as peaches to have him.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:31 | 2384982 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Great ... Get a greedy fat loser socialist like Larry Summers to preach about growth and further disregard the enormous deficit his administration created here in the US.

A short reminder is that this lead economic advisor to the Obama administration led the economic team to the downgrade of the USA's AAA credit rating and never once did he or the administration pass or operate with a budget. This guy is one sick man. There only solution is inflation. Inflation. There is no growth because when you look at the real inflation numbers there is zero if not negative growth. So Summers, Krugman, etc. solutions are all simply inflation.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:32 | 2384987 RoadKill
RoadKill's picture

I had a dream this AM while snoozing and waiting for Chicago to come oit. I was back at HBS and we were discussing whether this new focus on growth would solve the crisis. Everyone was fawning over it like the MSM is doing. I asked the question - I thought the problem on Europe is that no one would lend to the PIIGS except the pols desparatr to save their own asses. Has anyone heard a bank say the reason they wouldnt lend Greece money was becausr they werent spending enough and if they would only run a bigger deficit cheap money would be avalible.

Then shit got weird.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:37 | 2385001 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:35 | 2385000 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

With the stock market on track to break pre 2008 highs, it seems confidence, borrowing, spending and lending are again the watchwords of the hour. Only a man of Mr. Summers perspicacity would be able to discern the trends, and utter such telling and pithy remarks, thus demonstrating his truly remarkable powers of intellect, nobility, and taste.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:36 | 2385002 sockratte
sockratte's picture

well, isn't he right? can anyone present an alternative???

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:46 | 2385028 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Their solution is inflation. They'll call it growth but it's not. Inflation is a hidden tax on all that is never going to fix the problems here or in Europe and is especially problematic to the very poor. The solution is smaller government and smaller government spending.

BTW the inflation number the government announces is not even close to reality. The reason the governemnt announces a smaller inflation number is primarily because they do not want to have to pay more in social security payments that are tied to the inflation figures.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:03 | 2385068 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

He is wrong.  His prescription is precisely Japanification.  His statement that great policy debates accompany signs of failure is horribly disconnected, given that the actual policies considered and implemented in the 1930s are forbidden from current discussion, let alone debate (look up the Reconstruction Finance Commission and the outright seizure of collapsing banks, the 'Shut Michigan' article from Time Magazine c. 1933 when the Feds flew in to set the terms with the rich families and bankers, etc. etc.).  Why are public officers not behind the bankers' desks right now mirroring their hard drives onto the Internet?  Bad idea?  Oh, but where is the POLICY DEBATE?  The Fed or White House memos discussing in dispassionate terms whether or not to break up Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan?  Where are the POLICY memos, Larry???

Policies that actually worked for the Nordic crisis, and entire elements of the debate in the Latin American and Asian crises are OFF THE TABLE and you will not see them talked about.  Because of corruption.  Such options, including writedowns and structural changes to major financial institutions, are not profitable or convenient for the global financial elites.

So, of course Larry is full of shit and of course the present state of 'informed debate' in the financial rags is exactly the primary indicator of exactly how bad things are and how much worse they are going to get.  As in zero real returns across all asset classes for the rest of our lives, as noted by Bill Gross and others.  If we're lucky. 

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:40 | 2385312 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


well, isn't he right?

No, not ever.

can anyone present an alternative???

Dump him in the sea near a Japanese whaling ship.


Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:52 | 2385351 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Sure. Stop printing fiat money. Blow up the Fed. Machine gun execute the bankstas, and imprison Corzine, Summers, Jarrett, Emanual, Sunstein, Chu, and many others too worthless to even mention.

Crop dust Congress with DDT. Drop kick Obama back to Java. Exile Biden to Delaware - never to come out/ankle montior him.

Imprison the enitire Bush cabal, the Koch Brothers, and Warren Buffet for tax evasion.

SHOOT George Soros in every single area of his body, to make sure he's dead.

...and that's just for openers....

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:37 | 2385003 Blorf
Blorf's picture

Never go full retard.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:40 | 2385004 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Advice given far too late to help Jabba the Putz.


Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:41 | 2385005 theTribster
theTribster's picture

I thought he was dead? Didn't he choke to death on the lies from his Clinton days when he set out to destroy the world? This is a man that should be killed, dead. I know, I know - sorry. He is the most evil of the evil, you can thank him for derivatives and the lack of regulation as he beheaded Marcy Kaptur (THink thats her name) when she suggested that the derivative markets are really, really unsafe since there is absolutely zero regulation - she got fucked for thinking like that by Summers and the other dick Rubin.

They will get theirs, I'm sure of that. Once things get rolling here in America (May 1st?) guys like Summers and Rubin will be heading to Asia or somewhere else out of the USA. We will hunt them down and find them and not in the Osama timeframe but more like the Khadafi timeframe. I will be exceedingly happy to see them hung or shot or beheaded or just locked up forever and ever...and ever.

Fucking scum of the Earth these guys are, damn I thought I was done thinking about Summers and Rubin...

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:46 | 2385026 UP4Liberty
UP4Liberty's picture

I think you mean Brooksley Borne...she was the wisest of the wise...too bad that doing the right thing gets one kicked out or ignored.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:59 | 2385059 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Yes, both Alan Greenspan and Artheu Levitt (head of SEC) are both on record as admitting they were wrong on the derivatives market.

And Summers bad bets on those at Harvard lost them a cool billion.

Summers is a liar and a delusional asshole.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:10 | 2385088 theTribster
theTribster's picture

Yep, that's right - Thanks.

Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:41 | 2385287 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

'of the opposing genealogy, that doesn't guite fit the quasi-genome map of BlueBlood`purification?'

"CFTC"  ___ Brooksley Born

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