Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers focused on the need for investment in education, for globalization of the benefits from the recent economic boom and for the expansion of the U.S. market in a speech last night at the ARCO Forum.
The man who has his signature at the bottom of each new dollar bill also fielded questions regarding recent speculation that he is interested in being Harvard's president.
"I am sufficiently occupied with [my work] in Washington," Summers said, declining to talk about his future plans. But he did later tell The Crimson that his return to Cambridge "feels like coming home." Summers obtained his doctorate in economics from Harvard in 1982.
In his speech, he warned that the world cannot take the "new information economy" for granted. "Good times do not last automatically," Summers said. "The world doesn't stand still. We must use these good times to build a stronger future."
The former Harvard professor suggested solutions to problems facing the currently strong global economy.
"The top legislative priority is successful funding of debt relief for people in the poorest countries," said Summers, who later added that "imports have been the safety valve on a high-pressure U.S. economy."
He stressed that the U.S. has a responsibility to expand the market to the reaches of the world for both ethical and economic reasons.
"It was a moral priority to include everyone in our prosperity," Summers said. "Now, it is more than a moral issue."
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