Doug Henwood on Fri, 20 Sep 2002 16:40:23 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Re: Pritchett/Summers

Soenke Zehle wrote:

>I looked at this controversy again, and Lant Pritchett said that the
>memo had been 'doctored' by a WB staff member who excerpted what was
>meant to be an 'ironic' aside from a much more comprehensive memo on
>environmental policy...whatever, but do check out the sidebar 'Toxic
>Memo' in the article that celebrated Summer's return to Harvard.

I hadn't heard the "doctoring" defense before. I have a copy of the 
original memo, and the excerpt I posted was the whole section, 
scanned from that copy. The irony markers are pretty thin, unless you 
call titling the section "Nuggets" a sign that the knee-slapping is 
about to begin.

I ran into Summers at a party in DC in April 2000 and asked him if 
Africa was still vastly underpolluted. He said that was "a fair if 
not a friendly question" and launched into the irony/provocation 
defense. He didn't claim the memo was doctored.

By the way, a World Bank source told me that Pritchett was among the 
happiest of staffers when Joe Stiglitz was forced out as the Bank's 
chief economist.

Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
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