Larry Summers is one of the great contrarian indicators of our time. He is brilliant and yet still manages to get most things completely wrong. His ability to do so has been well chronicled over the last few years. It hasn’t slowed his roll even a bit, you can still find him in a tuxedo at only the very best parties in DC.
His need to weigh in on internet stock valuations this week is both hilarious and thrilling if you’re bullish on the theme. Summers delivered a recent data-free rant on the topic to an audience in Shanghai (via Bloomberg):
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said there’s a rising concern that technology stocks are in a bubble as investors shake off their apprehension from the 2007-2009 American mortgage and credit collapse.
“Who could have imagined that the concern with respect to any American financial asset, just two years after the crisis, would be a bubble?”
Just to bring you up to speed, Summers is now a professor at Harvard. He presided over the original internet bubble and crash as Clinton’s Treasury Secretary – didn’t see that one coming, but he’s all over this one. Prior to that, you could find him in Congress testifying against the regulation of derivatives (as he did in 1998). More recently, he could be found blowing up the Harvard Endowment (in 2008) and then as an economic advisor in the Obama White House, accomplishing nothing on the jobs front whatsoever.
If you’re a player in the web startup space, you’ve just been given the greenlight to carry on.