Editor's Note: This is a summary of an HBS Business Summit presentation. View a full summary and video of the event on the HBS Centennial Web site linked below.
|Date of Event:||October 14, 2008|
|Speaker:||Lawrence H. Summers, Director of the White House National Economic Council, and Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University|
In this keynote address, former Harvard president Lawrence Summers shared his view of the challenges facing America at a time of financial and economic turmoil, and the opportunities they present.
The United States stands at a time of unique challenge requiring decisive action. This includes both near-term action to deal with the current financial crisis, and decisions on three broad issues that hold enormous ramifications for American society and the world at large.
These issues are: Maintaining stable prosperity and economic growth; making sure that prosperity is widely and legitimately shared; and building a new global system that works for the citizens of all nations. Confronting these challenges represents a historic opportunity to save capitalism from itself, and in doing so, to create more prosperity and improve the lives of more people.
Key concepts include:
- America faces a host of major economic challenges.
- The short-term response to the current crisis is taking shape, but critical decisions must still be made.
- In the near term, the country must deal with the current crisis, but other broad issues must also be addressed.
- In these challenges lies the opportunity to make the world's economic system work for the people of the world by saving capitalism from itself.