Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have responded to Larry Summers, the former Harvard president who earlier this week said of his first encounter with the litigious dyad (famously dramatized in The Social Network), "One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an asshole. This was the latter case."
Larry Summers, the loudmouth former Treasury Secretary, knows from blowhards. So when he says Facebook losers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were some of the most arrogant "assholes" he met at Harvard, that's really saying something.
You probably assumed the job of Treasury Secretary came with half a dozen manservants. It doesn't, apparently. Tim Geithner was in New York City today to appear on a panel moderated by Time managing editor, Richard Stengel. Before the event kicked off, though, Geithner was spotted at the Starbucks downstairs. Buying his own coffee. Shocking, isn't it? Here's what went down, according to CNN's Donna Rosato:
For years, doctors and researchers have stressed the importance of getting eight or nine hours of sleep. Sleep-deprived zombies can take heart in the list of people who do with much less: Barack Obama, for example, says he gets by with just four hours a night and yet he still seems capable of, like, running the country and stuff. (As for whether the same is true for members of Obama's inner circle, well, that's another issue.)
For the second time this week, Code Pink managed to crash a televised speech on the economy and unfurl one of their giant banners. This time the victim was Larry Summers, who was addressing the Economic Club in Washington when several people ran on the stage. ("He is a toxic mess!" one activist shouted.) And just how did these people slip past security and make it on to the stage in the first place? Well, there was no security on hand, apparently, although we're guessing that's going to change in the near future. [HuffPo, Fox Business]
• Wall Street retreated this morning after a four-week rally amid concern about the banking sector and after IBM's attempt to buy Sun unraveled. [WSJ, CNN]
• The latest Washington official facing questions about potential conflicts of interest: Larry Summers, who collected $5.2 million in 2008 working one day a week for D.E. Shaw before joining the administration. [NYT]
• Tim Geithner says that the Obama administration is prepared to oust top financial executives if their firms require more public aid. [FT, DB]
Politico.com has concluded a groundbreaking investigation into the cars owned President Obama's cabinet members and top aides. And what did they find? A very sorry state of affairs, that's what. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is the proud owner of a 2008 entry-level Acura TSX, and he previously owned a 1999 Honda Accord, none of which is entirely surprising considering he's worked government jobs his whole life, has an atrociously designed home, and has lousy taste in ties, too. Larry Summers, however, will have a harder time excusing his 1995 Mazda Protégé (or his previous car, a 1996 Ford Taurus GL), since he worked for David Shaw's hedge fund for long enough to invest in a 3-series BMW (at least one that was manufactured at a plant in the U.S.) Naturally, the one person noticeably absent from Politico's list is the one that matters most: Steve Rattner, the man appointed by President Obama to redeem the American auto industry. But it's not all that complicated to determine at least one of the cars in Rattner's fleet. The couple's 2006 black Mercedes-Benz 350 (New York license plate #CSL1498!) was entered into the public record when his wife, Maureen White, was arrested for drunk driving last October.
• Is AIG officially the most despised company in America? Following the disclosure over the weekend that execs planned to go ahead with $165 million in bonuses to top execs comes word that a good deal of the billions in bailout money it received went to banks like Goldman Sachs ($12.9 billion), Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), and Bank of America ($5.2 billion). [BN, NYT, WSJ]
• Larry Summers: "There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what's happened at AIG is the most outrageous." [BN]
• UBS plans to cut another 5,000 jobs. [Reuters]
There is one heartening thing that we can take from President-Elect Barack Obama's appointment of controversial ex-Harvard President Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council. In the face of some opposition from those within his coalition, Obama appointed Summers to the role. It follows that the former Clinton Treasury secretary Summers was so far and away best man for the job that Obama and his advisors completely dismissed whatever negative political fallout would come from Summers' past gaffes. In other words, it doesn't matter what you've done — if you think you can fix the economic situation we're in, welcome on board! And, as it turns out, Summers and Obama Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner have other unique qualifications to save America:Summers has been a part of the Obama campaign all along, and he was a big supporter of the government bailout plan passed by Congress last month. He is of course more famous for his remarks about the capabilities of women in the sciences. The former Treasury Secretary did apologize, but you have to think Obama is hoping that putting Hillary Clinton in the most prominent Cabinet role and naming Arizona pol Janet Napolitano as the new secretary of Homeland Security will distract feminists from attacking the administration's other choices. With the amount of goodwill he has right now, it probably won't even matter. Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary was Timothy Geithner, and although he's new to this level of public scrutiny, his last job was head of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Geithner is the kind of guy you'll be seeing a lot of in the Obama administration. Schooled at Henry Kissinger's consulting firm in Washington after his graduate work at Johns Hopkins, Geithner is no bookish econimist, a trait he shares with the fiery Summers. As The Economist notes, Geithner is far from the staid type:
President-elect Barack Obama has picked Tim Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, rather than former Harvard University president Larry Summers, as Treasury secretary. That makes it unlikely that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who worked for Summers when he ran the Treasury for Bill Clinton, will return to Washington.
Facebook's COO is mounting yet another PR offensive. But not on behalf of her current employer, though it could use some good press. No, Sheryl Sandberg is defending former boss Larry Summers against charges of sexism. Summers, who was Treasury Secretary under Clinton, is being talked up for the same role in Barack Obama's Cabinet. A controversial speech Summers gave as president of Harvard University — speculating that innate differences might have to do with women's lack of progress in math and science — could ruin his chances. Hence Sandberg's timely defense.But the defense is timely for Sandberg as well. Sandberg served as Summers's chief of staff before she moved to Silicon Valley and joined Google, setting her up for her current job at Facebook. Summers and Sandberg had a close professional relationship; he even escorted her as his guest to a White House dinner in 2000. At Google and Facebook both, colleagues roll their eyes as they recount how often she brings up her Washington experience and brags about how working in tech is a cakewalk compared to D.C. But Sandberg's tenure at Facebook has been controversial. She's been acting as if she's the company's No. 2 executive, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg's reassurances that her role is limited and she's not a CEO-in-waiting. Several key tech and product executives have left since she's arrived — and, crucially, she has not made visible progress in improving the company's ad-sales operations. At least one prominent investor has been talking about "reining her in." So why not head back to D.C.? If Summers gets the Treasury job, he'll surely call on Sandberg for advice, and perhaps more. Will she be able to resist the call to public service? Her husband, Dave Goldberg, is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital — a placeholder job he could easily leave. Her children are young enough that she could move back east without disrupting their schooling. It might be a now-or-never opportunity. It must be on her mind — and on the agenda at Facebook's next board meeting. Sandberg leaving Facebook for the government gives everyone a graceful out from a bad situation. Zuckerberg could help give her a nudge; his cofounder, Chris Hughes, was the director of Obama's Web campaign. Perhaps he could put in a good word for Sandberg? If Summers gets the Treasury job, the only question is whether, having made millions at Google, she really wants to work as hard as she tells everyone she used to.