With a brief statement, Larry Summers has just stepped down as President of Harvard (in-house reportage here and here). As the Harvard Crimson put it, this makes him the shortest-serving Harvard president since the Civil War. It’s a pity for the university (I’ve always been a Summers fan), but terrific news for economics. Summers was prolific in his late-20s and early-30s, before he left for Washington. Hopefully he has a few more articles in him yet.
Update, 28/2: In comments, Claire asks me why I’m a Summers fan. Three reasons. First, he pushed through a tuition waiver for poor families going to the College, and guaranteed a Citibank loan for any international grad student (before Summers, only HBS students had this guarantee). Both will ensure many more poor students at Harvard than in the past. Second, I think the Allston development and the changes to the undergrad curriculum are terrifically exciting moves. And third, I always felt that the furore over his comments at the NBER symposium were overblown (Will Saletan penned a couple of nice pieces at the time, here and here).