Larry Summers vs. Fan Gang over ‘Dollar Default’ in 1st Session wkf2011 l 2011.07.26

An American economist who threatened China for artificial appreciation of the Chinese currency yuan will have a showdown over ‘dollar default’ with a Chinese economist who urged the international community to show opposition against the yuan’s rise.

Former White House Chief Economist Larry Summers and former member of Monetary Policy Committee of People’s Bank of China Fan Gang will confront each other at the 12th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) in 2011. The two economists made different kinds of contributions to their countries’ economies, but have been attacking each other with their firm views on appreciation of the yuan in pursuit of their own countries’ national interest.

They will have a showdown over the possibility of default of the U.S. government and the eurozone risks in the first session of the 12th WKF entitled ‘World Economic Outlook.’ Besides the two, McKinsey CEO Dominic Barton and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Chief Economist Chang-yong Rhee will join the session to hold a heated debate pitting two teams of two against each other. Taking the form of ‘100 Minute Debate,’ the famous television program of a South Korean private broadcaster, this session is an extension of the ‘debate of the century’ between so-called neo-Keynesian Paul Krugman and neo-classical thinker Niall Ferguson last year. The battle between Krugman and Ferguson conjured up the image of an encounter between John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman. In contrast, the face-off between Summers and Gang this year brings up the image of a fight between an eagle and a panda over ‘dollar default.’

Barton and Rhee join the debate in order not to just sit and watch the battle between the U.S. and China, but to give a realistic assessment.

The audience will find the debate more interesting knowing that Summers and Gang are alumnus of Harvard University.

Nicknamed as ‘Genius,’ Summers attended Harvard University Department of Economics as a graduate student (Ph.D., 1982) at age 27 in 1982. He became one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard`s history in the following year. Gang is considered as genius as Summers. He completed Ph.D. at Harvard in three years after graduating from Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1985.

Rhee also received his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1989 at similar times with Summers and Gang.

Summers has long been serving as an economic policy advisor to numerous U.S. presidents and presidential candidates since the days of President Ronald Reagan, while Gang has been steering the Chinese economy as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China. Rhee also has been making contributions to the Korean economy, serving as the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Secretary-General and Sherpa of the Presidential Committee for the G20 Seoul Summit.

[2011.07.25 Written by Hyun-gyu Shin, Won-sup Yoon - Su-hyun Song / edited by Soyoung Chung]

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