There are plenty of Larry Summers negatives, but there is one peculiar thing about him that is major negative: is he an aspy. Does Lawrence Summers have Asperger's Syndrome? In 2005, this was the accusation thrown at him, mostly due to his politically incorrect gender brain difference statements, because eh was sufficiently left and useful to not toss in the garbage. GNXP, Steven Hsu, and other pundits have wondered about it. Even though I consider Asperger's just "awkward person who has limited social skills but we have to diagnose ti as a disease because everyone must be social and PC, here take pills!", Summers being a bit aspy matters with the way the FED and markets work now. The system needs a FED chair who can communicate well and avoid making brusque, blowhard type statements off the cuff.
I used brusque and blowhard because those are words used when people discuss Summers, but want to explain away his lack of people skills. He is still on the 'good team', so he must be rationalized as acceptable. Someone with awkward communication skills and the inability to effectively manage a fragile computer driven market that flash crashes should not be in the FED driver seat. The market pukes if message management is not supreme as evident from the last 5 years of QE or no QE and taper or no taper. The FEDspeak that Greenspan started and Bernanke kept up has been heightened in this age of hyper trading and computer markets. Even spinning on the simple phrases of FED testimony and releases is a role for media members. It's not a sign of a healthy system, but it is the system we have.
Lawrence "Larry-smart" Summers is the product of smart parents with prize winning economists in his bloodline and has Rubin's stamp of approval, so that is all the punditocracy needs to sell him to us. Evaluating him on his complicity in the creation of our messed up system is beyond the media's concern. Touching on his personality can only go so far as to bring up the Harvard-female brain incident and then statements meant to counter that. To delve deeper into why so many people find him hard to deal with or if he has a mental trait that may make him a worse candidate is beyond the reach of our media. With deeper reflection, let's put Summers in charge. He may be just what we need, but not the FED. Let him shoot his mouth off at Congress or a press conference and bring down the entire circus. An out of touch, autistic genius would be the fitting assassin for the boys on Wall Street.