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Larry Summers wants more

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Larry Summers, Treasury secretary under President Clinton, is back in government as a top adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. My profile of the man who courted controversy as president of Harvard University earlier this decade attempts to discern what role he’ll play in the White House.

Vincent Reinhart, a former Federal Reserve official now at the American Enterprise Institute, had some good insights.

“If he’s the one generating ideas, he could be very influential and powerful,” Mr. Reinhart said.

Mr. Reinhart said he views much of the rest of the economic team named by Mr. Obama as “insulation around the current of the economic policy generated by Summers.”

“It looks like, from the outside, that it’s Summers’ job to generate the ideas, Geithner’s job to package them in a form that the public and Congress would find acceptable, [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman] Christina Romer’s job to put that proposal in perspective, and then Paul Volcker is the check on the process to make sure nobody gets too carried away.”

Read the whole thing here, and please let me know what you think of it.

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