Roger Altman: Why the Fed needs Summers’ firefighting skills:
The Fed is both independent of the executive branch and, more important, the most powerful group of financial firefighters on earth. So its chair is the world’s most important crisis manager…. That is the right context for evaluating the forthcoming appointment…. It may not be 2008 any more but serious financial crises are occurring with ever greater frequency…. The next Fed chair, therefore, must be experienced in managing crises such as these. That brings us to the apparent choice between the two lead candidates. Full disclosure: I have worked with Prof Summers and know Ms Yellen slightly. Both are highly qualified in virtually every respect. But Prof Summers had the key role in the Clinton Treasury during both the Asian financial crisis and the Mexican default. And, later, in the Obama White House during the huge credit crisis in 2009…. That is why he should be the choice.