Can Larry Summers Save the Economy?

Obama's brash and brilliant economic adviser has attained vast power and a chop on nearly every issue. Can the former Treasury boss sort out the financial mess before it gets worse?

David Deal for TIME

Summers is planning nothing short of a complete overhaul of the U.S. economy

The walls are still bare in Larry Summers' West Wing office, a cramped and cluttered perch overlooking the Rose Garden. The Bloomberg terminals have yet to be delivered, and the steam-powered White House e-mail system recently crashed. Add to all that the fact that much of Barack Obama's economic team is still finding its way around the White House, and it's somewhat remarkable that this economic wunderkind turned Obama adviser is moving at flank speed on the biggest restructuring of the U.S. economy since the New Deal.

By 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, Lawrence H. Summers has already been working for...

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