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Lawrence Summers Officially Changes Nickname from “Tactfully Challenged” to “Gloomy Gus”

White House portrait of Lawrence Summers.

Image via Wikipedia

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers announced today that he was officially changing his nickname from “Tactfully Challenged” to “Gloomy Gus”.

“I never really took to the ‘Tactfully Challenged’ handle,” said Summers. “It was just a little high-toned for me. And, it’s kind of a mouthful!”

The Winklevoss twins, who rose to national prominence following their portrayal as total dinks in the film The Social Network, attached the label to Summers in a letter to current Harvard President Drew Faust. The letter followed Summers’ remarks at Fortune’s  “Brainstorm Conference”, held this past month. During the Conference, Summers referred to a meeting with the twins depicted in the film during his stint as Harvard’s president:

“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 a—–. This was the latter case.”

Excerpts from the Winklevoss twins response in their letter to Faust:

In April of 2004, we … were successful in meeting with President Summers. His manner was not inconsistent with his reputation and present day admissions of being tactfully challenged. It was not his failure to shake hands with the three of us upon entering his office (doing so would have required him to take his feet off his desk and stand up from his chair), nor his tenor that was most alarming, but rather his scorn for a genuine discourse on deeper ethical questions, Harvard’s Honor Code, and its applicability or lack thereof.

On the “Gloomy Gus” front, Dreadmonger sought out Summers today following his comments in a Reuters column:

“The odds of the economy going back into recession are at least one in three if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth,” Summers warned. “. If these judgments are close to correct, relief will soon give way to alarm about the United States’s economic and fiscal future.”

In other Summers’ news, it was recently announced that he will join the Board of Directors for Square, a silicon-valley mobile payment technology start-up company. Square has purportedly launched  a capital-raising effort that would place the company’s valuation at $1 billion or more. The Summers’ appointment comes at a time when technology start-ups are attempting to solidify their political connections. Summers’ friends on Capitol Hill and in the White House will potentially be of  huge benefit to Square.

Dreadmonger attempted unsuccessfully today to reach Summers for a comment at  his suburban home in the tony Ashcroft section of Boston. Our reporters received no response at the Summers’ residence, but as they were leaving, they could see someone who looked like Summers lounging in a hammock in the backyard, apparently enjoying a cold beer.

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