WASHINGTON — Prominent economist Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration to be the next Federal Reserve chairman after realizing that he is grossly overqualified for the position.
Summers, a former architect of financial deregulation, explained in a letter to President Obama that he would have done a good job as Fed chair…too good of a job.
“I’ve been Secretary of Treasury, director of the National Economic Council and president of Harvard,” wrote Summers. “Clearly, I have far too much experience for this little gig, but it’s great that you thought of me.”
Alhough Summers insists that his decision was based entirely on his over-qualifications, some of his supporters say otherwise. According to anonymous supporters, Summers made his decision after realizing that if Obama could not sway Congressional opinion on Syria, there was no way that he could woo Congress in favor of Summers.
“Obama loves Summers, but Congressional Democrats do not,” said one supporter. “They don’t want to confirm someone who made a name for himself deregulating Wall Street. I’ve been close with Summers for years, but even I can’t argue that he wouldn’t pervert the Fed beyond all recognition.”
“As a candidate, he does present some ethical issues,” said another supporter. “Summers would probably have to remove himself from decisions regarding Citigroup because he only recently stopped consulting for them. Do you realize how much time the Fed spends regulating Citi? It’d basically turn the chairmanship into a part-time job.”
Despite these statements, Summers has continued to assert that he cannot accept the position he has long coveted because his performance as Fed chair would overwhelm the nation.
“Although being chairman of the Federal Reserve sounds like a neat thing to try, I’m afraid I’m so outrageously qualified for this job that under my watch, the economy would run too well,” wrote Summers on Sunday. “Everyone knows the sweet spot for unemployment is 5%, and I couldn’t help but to bring it down to zero.”
In a statement regarding Summers’s withdrawal, Obama expressed sincere disappointment. However, the president also emphasized that he understood why Summers could not accept a job so very, very far beneath him.
“I never should have tapped Summers in the first place,” Obama said. “This job should go to a man, not a god.”