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They say the key to a nation’s economic policy agenda is through its stomach…

Japan Times, October 4, 2010

Larry Summers was snatching lunch during the African Development Bank annual meeting while I interviewed him. Under no circumstances, his minder said, were we to take pictures while he was eating — a wise precaution as it spared our cameras from the backlash of presenting him chomping greedily on a huge burger. It was a fascinating experience that said much about Summers, his voracious hunger, a man in a hurry, not thinking of all the consequences.

Vanity Fair; October 2009

And with that Paulson ducked into the private bathroom adjoining his office, closed the big paneled door, and audibly, violently, and repeatedly threw up. He emerged a moment later as if nothing had happened, but in a few minutes he did the same thing all over again. I asked if he wouldn’t rather stop, and resume our conversation another time. “That’s O.K.,” he said. “I’m just going to go through this all. I won’t remember it. You know, I barely remember the details now.”

In the months to come, I would think of Paulson’s perseverance in the face of gastric distress as a metaphor for the way he persevered through the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.