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Don’t Just Do Something

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Some years ago, I set out to write a little book about Harvard University’s USAID project to teach market manners to Boris Yeltsin’s Russian government in the 1990s.  The project collapsed after leaders of the Harvard mission were caught seeking to line their own pockets by gaining control of an American firm they had  brought in to advise the Russians. Project director Andrei Shleifer was a Harvard professor. His best friend, Lawrence Summers, was US Assistant Treasury Secretary at the time. There was justice to be served. The USAID officer who blew the whistle, Janet Ballantyne, was a Foreign Service