Menenberg on Reuters: Would Summers Be a Rash Decision-Maker?


You may have missed EconoMonitor blogger Aaron Menenberg’s fascinating Leadership Trait Analysis of Ben Bernanke in September 2012, which concluded at the time:

BySarunas Merkliopas

“His style as a function of responsiveness to constraints, openness to information, and motivation suggests he is ‘reactive’ leader who focuses on assessing what is possible in the current situation given the nature of the problem and considers what important constituencies would allow.”

A subsequent analysis in December 2012 looked at the psychological profiles of Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, noting similarities in the traits of Bernanke and Summers, but offering a key differentiation:

“Where Summers departs from Bernanke is his well above average self-confidence and a significantly stronger focus on his own group than Bernanke. This means Summers is less likely to work others into the decision making process who he does not consider part of his own group, while his self-confidence may mean less hesitation to act according to his beliefs.”

With Summers now widely viewed as the only challenger to Janet Yellen for the Fed chair position, Menenberg revisited his analysis in an interview with Reuters, in which he determined some leadership pluses for Summers: “We’re likely to see a leader who is a little bit more proactive than the current Fed chair.”<>

Then noted some downsides to Summers’ profile:

“If there’s any red flag here in his results, it’s fairly high self-confidence score. He is well above the average for world leaders … If that’s going to have any effect, it could potentially be rash decision making, rash action taking.”


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