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Larry Summers Vs. Ben Bernanke: Who is Smarter? Larry Summers Vs. Ben Bernanke: Who is Smarter?

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Larry Summers Vs. Ben Bernanke: Who is Smarter?

photo of Catherine Hollander
November 15, 2012

The world of Ivy League academics is a small one.

Alan Krueger, who currently chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, had Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on his tenure review committee at Princeton University and Larry Summers, the former Treasury secretary and White House official, as a thesis adviser at Harvard.

But asked at a Thursday luncheon hosted by the Economic Club of Washington which man was smarter, Krueger declined to answer. He praised both. “They’re both brilliant and they are both extraordinarily talented,” he said, drawing laughs, presumably for his diplomacy, from the crowd gathered at the Capitol Hilton.

Krueger also declined to answer a question on whether he hoped to follow in the footsteps of his CEA chair predecessors Alan Greenspan and Arthur Burns and become Fed chairman himself. “My interest is in seeing the economy recover,” he said. 

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