Lawrence Summers & Steve Forbes

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Lawrence Summers

EXCLUSIVE
  • Director, White House National Economic Council (2009-2010)
  • President, Harvard University (2001-2006)
  • Secretary of the Treasury (1999-2001)
  • Authority on Domestic Economics and International Finance

An expert on domestic economics and a leading authority on international finance, Larry Summers is one of the most distinguished voices on issues ranging from the global economy to education to the role of the United States in the world. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration as Director of the White House National Economic Council, Dr. Summers was Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration, President of Harvard University, and Chief Economist of the World Bank. Dr. Summers’ tenure at the U.S. Treasury coincided with the longest period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history. He is the only Treasury Secretary in the last half century to have left office with the national budget in surplus. During his tenure in the Obama Administration, Larry Summers emerged as a key economic decision-maker and continues to be called upon as the number one resource for the most pressing economic debates of the day.

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Steve Forbes headshot

Steve Forbes

EXCLUSIVE
  • Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media
  • Expert on the Global Economy, Monetary Policy and Politics
  • Bestselling Author

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, and an internationally respected authority in the worlds of economics, finance, and corporate leadership. With the economy at the forefront of conversation on a global level, Mr. Forbes offers long-standing insights that capitalism, free markets, and a flat tax are essential to a healthy economy. This is a message Mr. Forbes has been delivering as editor of one of the world’s most successful business magazines for decades, and he continues to be one of the most sought-after speakers on this and other economic issues leading the economic debates around the world.

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Biography

Lawrence Summers's Biography

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers is one of America's leading economists. In addition to serving as 71st Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration, Dr. Summers served as Director of the White House National Economic Council in the Obama Administration, as President of Harvard University, and as the Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Dr. Summers’ tenure at the U.S. Treasury coincided with the longest period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history. He is the only Treasury Secretary in the last half century to have left office with the national budget in surplus.

Dr. Summers has played a key role in addressing every major financial crisis for the last two decades. During the 1990s, he was a leader in crafting the U.S. response to international financial crises arising in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Japan, and Asian emerging markets. As one of President Obama’s chief economic advisors, Dr. Summers’ thinking helped shape the U.S. response to the 2008 financial crisis, to the failure of the automobile industry, and to the pressures on the European monetary system. Upon Summers’ departure from the White House, President Obama said, “I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry’s brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team.”

The Economist recognized his influence when it defined the “Summers Doctrine,” an approach to economic policy during financial crises that fuses a microeconomic "laissez faire" mentality with macroeconomic activism. "Markets should allocate capital, labour and ideas without interference, but sometimes markets go haywire, and must be counteracted forcefully by government."

Summers' five years as President of Harvard represented a time of major innovation for the University. He focused on equality of opportunity and removing all financial obligation from students with family incomes below $60,000 a year. He launched a major effort to make Boston, and Cambridge in particular, the global leader in life sciences research, with the formation of major programs for stem cell research and genomics. Perhaps most importantly, he led efforts to renew Harvard College with dramatic increases in study abroad programs, faculty-student contact, and collaboration across the University during his tenure.

Currently, Dr. Summers is the President Emeritus and the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University, where he became a full professor at age 28, one of the youngest in Harvard’s recent history. He directs the University’s Mossavar-Rhomani Center for Business and Government. Summers was the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation's Alan Waterman Award for scientific achievement and, in 1993, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most outstanding economist under 40 in the United States. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002. He has published several books and more than 150 papers in scholarly journals.

Summers is an advisor to businesses and investors. He serves on the board of two cutting edge financial services startups—Square and Lending Club. He also chairs the boards of Citizen Schools and the Center for Global Development and serves on the executive committee of the board for Teach for America. He recently chaired the Commission on Global Health, lauded by the UN Secretary General who noted that it “will bring more than health – it will bring equity, and contribute to a life of dignity for all.”

President Bill Clinton said that Larry Summers "has the rare ability to see the world that is taking shape and the skill to help to bring it into being." He has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential thinkers by Time, Foreign Policy, Prospect and The Economist magazines among many others. In his speeches, regular newspaper columns in The Financial Times and public commentary, he continues to move forward the debate on national and global economic policy.

Steve Forbes's Biography

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.

Steve’s newest project is the podcast “What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers, politicians and pioneers in business and economics in honest conversations meant to challenge traditional conventions as well as featuring Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society, economics and policy.

Steve helped create the recently released and highly acclaimed public television documentary, In Money We Trust?, which was produced under the auspices of Maryland Public television.  The film was inspired by the book he co-authored, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.

Steve’s latest book is Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity co-authored by Elizabeth Ames (McGraw-Hill Professional).

Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

In both 1996 and 2000, Steve campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the Presidency. Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts, a new Social Security system for working Americans, parental choice of schools for their children, term limits and a strong national defense. Steve continues to energetically promote this agenda.