Taking The Handoff

Brainy economist Larry Summers replaces Wall Street wizard Robert Rubin at the Treasury. Can he leave well enough alone?

There exists a paradigm of the perfect economy, a place where a dismal scientist may even lay down his HP-19B calculator because analysis is superfluous in a land where supply and demand are calibrated, inflation is checked, growth steady, the workforce fully employed and the stock market bullish. For the moment, the U.S. may be that perfect economy, and that means the greatest challenge for Larry Summers, 44, the new nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, will be not to muck things up.

That's harder than it sounds. After all, when Seinfeld went off the air, NBC couldn't run a test...

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