Summers Humbly Assigns Numerical Odds To Unknowable Future

Summers Humbly Assigns Numerical Odds To Unknowable Future

I often wonder if there's a place for humor in the world anymore. People still like jokes, but the Trump years killed satire and even a cursory scroll through Twitter proves Americans no longer understand, let alone appreciate, anything other than vacuous sarcasm. Dry humor is out. Irony has been degraded by the widespread adoption of Whataboutism. The public thinks wry is a kind of bread. Sardonic is anything that smells like sardines. It's a lamentable state of affairs. There was a time when
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

11 thoughts on “Summers Humbly Assigns Numerical Odds To Unknowable Future

  1. Yeah, I saw the interview too. It was nauseating.

    When watching Summer spew his “knowledge” to the masses, I find it’s important to remember he’s the person who is so incompetent that he nearly bankrupted Harvard University despite its $30 billion endowment, a truly trumpian level of incompetence.

    1. Did he? Any good reference on that?

      I thought his spell at the Treasury in the 90s was enough to show his irrelevance/inability/unwillingness to lean against the status quo/the winds of history/Reaganism/the Washington consensus…

      1. The Harvard Annual Financial reports from his time as President and the years subsequent. You have to read between the lines a bit because they couldn’t publicly say what really happened with any specific detail.

        I have learned to never underestimate institutional incompetence. That said, I believe Harvard is one of the best run institutions in the country. They just brought in a bad leader.

      1. Of course, that happens less than it should. When I was in the third year of my doctoral program my committee chair and a couple other academics founded a new association in the field of finance, The Financial Management Association, with a new journal called “Financial Management.” What set this group apart was that it was made up of 50% academics and 50% practitioners. Half of the articles in the new journal were written by practitioners, something that was simply not done by others. Even the academics who published in the new journal spoke to the needs of practitioners. One of the landmark articles in the first number of the new journal was the introduction by David Hertz of Monte Carlo simulation as a powerful tool for various analytic chores in finance. My first big piece of research was a study of the techniques fixed income portfolio managers used when investing their capital inflows. What I found out was how badly these real world investment managers wanted the academics to know how the real world worked and why. My articles from this study were published quickly and widely disseminated. The real world needs to be heard from.

  2. As more evidence of the loss of humor, see the interview the Atlantic did with a founder of the Babylon Bee, the conservative answer to The Onion. It’s almost as bad as Fox News brief attempt to create a conservative alternative to the Daily Show. I’m surprised The Onion has soldiered on given the difficulty of satirizing a world that has jumped the satirical shark.

  3. Summers is very intelligent but seems to be falling a bit short on the wisdom front. I saw a Nial Ferguson column lauding his outlook and denigrating the Fed and Biden. Biden and the Fed may have been to loose with fiscal and monetary policy for this crisis, but there was no way to know that beforehand- and it is easier to pull back stimulus than add to it later if it falls short. I thought Ferguson’s column was extremely arrogant. Powell has said all along that if the Fed needs to taper more quickly, and by implication riase rates the Fed can and will do that. As for inflation, I would rather worry about that, than mass homelessness, soup lines and vast misery.

  4. as people age and transition into retirement / semi retirement we still have a need to feel and remain “relevant.”
    As long as people are willing to pay Summers money, expect to hear more provocative statements and / or tones from him…

Speak your mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

NEWSROOM crewneck & prints