Monday, November 30, 2009

Larry Summers - Best & Brightest 2

Larry Summers had to resign the Harvard presidency for his smart-alerk comment re shortage of women scientists due to possible DNA factors. His supporters argued he was merely listing a list of possible reasons the way any serious scientists would in intellectual speculation. Thinking aloud, as it were, without necessarily committing himself to any single position.

Well, if I were to similarly intellectually speculate in a public form that somewhere along Larry's family tree in eons past some of his ancestors might have had excessive arrogance DNA or perhaps some were mentally crippled mongoloids with excessively high IQ while adding the caveat that by the time Larry was born and later was universally lauded by an adoring press with a heavy duty Harvard-envy that any traces of that possible or even probable deformity had clearly become moot, would I have been intellectually speculative, therefore usefully provocative, or was I being just a horse's ass?

Mark, my most helpful friend, sent me this latest piece here on how Larry played fund manager leading the world's richest and mighty Harvard into a financial crisis.

Come to think of it, I wish he had not been drummed out of Harvard so that right now he would have had to face the humiliating task of righting Harvard's tattered balance sheets for which he was responsible.

Well, when Larry was Harvard's president he was paid millions being a part time consultant to D.E. Shaw, a hedge fund. I wonder how often D.E. Shaw acted on his advice or merely listening politely and then ignored his advice.

Anyone who has spent serious time managing money knows the difference between theory and practice. Anyone who has listened to expensive academic consultants at a fund management company also knows how often their advice is dismissed as not credible irrespective of their brilliant credentials.

In money as in so many other aspects in life, it is not a bad rule of thumb to remember that those who can, do; those who can talk well should keep talking.

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