Abstract

It is a great honor and a great pleasure for the Per Jacobsson Foundation today to have the participation of Larry Summers. He doesn’t need any introduction because you all know him, and therefore what I’m going to say is going to seem banal and superfluous.

Jacques De LarosiÈre

It is a great honor and a great pleasure for the Per Jacobsson Foundation today to have the participation of Larry Summers. He doesn’t need any introduction because you all know him, and therefore what I’m going to say is going to seem banal and superfluous.

But let me just say that I have great respect for and personal friendship with Larry Summers, who has played an extremely important role in this country. You know that Larry is a Harvard man, if I may say so. He got his Ph.D. and was a professor of economics at Harvard. And, actually, he won a rather interesting award: the Alan T. Waterman Award of the National Science Foundation, which Congress has established to honor an exceptional, young—and this is still true of him—U.S. scientist or engineer whose work demonstrates originality, innovation, and significant impact. Well, I think this encompasses pretty well the personality of Larry. He is original, he is innovative, and he has, indeed, made a significant impact on things.

In 1991, he became Vice-President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank, where he played a very significant role in designing strategies to assist developing countries. Then he became Undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs in 1993; and in 1995—remember the Tequila Crisis?—he became Deputy Secretary, and you know the very important role he played in those positions.

And, then, it was in July 1999 that Mr. Summers was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and in that capacity he served as principal economic adviser to President Clinton.

After leaving the Treasury Department in January 2001, Mr. Summers served as the Arthur Okun Distinguished Fellow in Economics, Globalization, and Governance at the Brookings Institution. And then more recently, in 2001, he became the 27th president of Harvard University, and he has already left an imprint on that prestigious institution.

So, after having said all that, I think our appetite is whetted, and now we will listen with immense interest to what Mr. Larry Summers has to say. Thank you.