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Time to leave US financial crisis to the foxes

Business Times - 27 Feb 2009

Time to leave US financial crisis to the foxes
By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

PUNDITS in Washington are obsessing over the intellectual odyssey of economist Lawrence Summers who has been transformed from an avid free marketer of the 1990s, when he served in the Clinton administration, into a supporter of massive government intervention in the current financial crisis as President Barack Obama's top economic advisor.

'(British economist John Maynard) Keynes famously said of someone who accused him of inconsistency: 'When circumstances change, I change my opinion',' Mr Summers recounted recently in an interview with Newsweek magazine to explain why he had been a proponent of deregulating the financial markets during the height of the age of financial globalisation and why now in the era of 'de-globalisation' he has been promoting a more activist role for Washington in regulating Wall Street.

It's not that Mr Summers was e…