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Two paragraphs of interest…

… in an Economic Principals post about Harvard professors and lucrative international consulting. The first claims that Lawrence Summers lost Harvard’s presidency in part because of his involvement in the Andrei Shleifer scandal:

After its mission to advise the Russian government on behalf of the US State department collapsed in 1997 amid a welter of conflict of interest charges, Harvard closed its Institute for International Development. After losing a long court battle [and having to pay the government tens of millions of dollars as a result], and partly as a consequence of it, the university relieved Lawrence Summers of his presidency (but made him a university professor) and revoked economics professor Andrei Shleifer’s endowed chair.

This is the first time UD‘s read someone connecting Summers’ loss of the presidency to the Shleifer case. I certainly hope it’s true, because I’ve been baffled for years, reading the details of that scandal, as to why Summers suffered no consequences. But maybe he did.

The second returns us to the much-discussed question of the Harvard-dominated Monitor Group, and its ties to Gaddafi:

In a statement last week, Monitor wrote that “just a few years ago many saw a period of promise in Libya.” That was certainly true in Cambridge. What dissenting Libyans in Tripoli witnessed was a parade of well-paid visitors flattering their half-mad dictator, and a squad of Harvard-connected consultants bent on creating a National Security Organization for the government, designed to augment the existing security apparatus with a new corps of MBA-trained personnel officers.

It does look pretty unseemly… Richly rewarded Harvard professors pumping up an extremely, I may almost say ostentatiously (to quote Lady Bracknell) half-mad dictator…

Margaret Soltan, March 30, 2011 10:27AM
Posted in: conflict of interest

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4 Responses to “Two paragraphs of interest…”

  1. mkellerm Says:

    The Shleifer case played a major role in Summers’ resignation, probably moreso than the comments on women in science. This was pretty well known on campus at the time, but didn’t get the same coverage in the national media. Here is an article from the Crimson:


  2. Mr Punch Says:

    Agreed. The Shleifer case lost the Arts & Sciences faculty. Summers was relatively safe as long as he had A&S and Medicine (top two power centers) on his side, even with HBS opposed.

  3. AYY Says:

    I recall that it did get some coverage in the blogosphere at the time, although maybe not in the mainstream media. I certainly recall reading about it, and I have no connection whatever to Harvard.

  4. Josh Says:

    That’s really odd: I heard at the time that the Shleifer case was a central issue in Summers’s resignation; and whenever I see an online article (say, in the CHE) trying to blame Summers’s resignation on mean feminists, someone in the comments mentions that Shleifer was the major factor.

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