Word got to Bono and Shriver that Larry Summers, the treasury secretary-designate, might be more proactive. Summer seasons had actually formerly been the primary economist at the World Bank, and development was a recognized enthusiasm of his. But, once more, just getting the conference wasn't easy.
I didn't especially see why I needed to hang out with a singer I'd never ever heard of, Summers recounts. However the girls on my personnel informed me I needed to see him.
It holds true. Larry had no idea who Bono was, nor had he came across U2, validates Cheryl Sandberg, Summers's chief of personnel at the time. It was a cause of terrific hilarity in the workplace. However I was his chief of personnel, which meant that requests came through me, and I would then make recommendations about who the secretary should or should not see. As a cabinet member, your time is the only commodity you have, so we took the scheduling procedure very seriously. And when this request was available in, I was, like, we're doing this meeting, we're not going to have a regular conversation.
But Summers wished to lie low. About to be sworn in as treasury secretary, the last thing he needed was a gossip product about him meeting a pop star, perfect ammunition for his political enemies currently labeling him a liberal flake. The conference might not occur in his workplace. Rather, it was established in the White House workplaces of Gene Sperling, the head of the National Economic Council, across the street from the Treasury.
There had to do with 6 people around the table when Bono strolled in, wearing jeans and sunglasses, which is not exactly what you 'd expect in the White House, recounts Sandberg, particularly as Larry didn't truly get that he's, like, a rock star.
I didn't feel I had a very good conference with Larry, states Bono now. I didn't think the pitch went very well. It had not been among my better days, and he was drumming on the table with his fingers while I was talking, sidetracked.
But those at the conference remember it in a different way. Stephanie Flanders, Summers's former speechwriter, was impressed. He was enormously informed on the topic, she remembers of Bono. He was referring to a great deal of turgid studies-documents on the debt issue, reports for Congress. Everyone was actually impressed. Sandberg agrees: He understood what all the acronyms were, he understood how the debt streams worked, he knew about capital danger. Summertimes himself sums it up: He turned out to in fact understand a ton about financial obligation.
Finally, when the meeting was winding down, Bono, looking Summers directly in the eye, stated, I have actually been all over the world, and each and every single person states if I can get Larry Summers, I can get this done. Since if he desires this done, it'll be done. So I'm here to obtain you.
Sandberg bears in mind the surprise on the faces around the table. It was type of similar to, 'whoa,' she remembers. Extremely few individuals can be found in with that much force and speak with the secretary of the treasury in that way. And it was very motivational. I believe we all wished to believe that something like this could occur, that it deserved fighting for. Bono had an effect on me, admits Summers. His presence suggested there was a huge constituency out there who appreciated financial obligation. So although his response at the meeting was a noncommittal let me think of it, Summers turned to Flanders when Bono had left the room, and said, I think the administration has simply had its consciousness raised. This guy's right. We need to repair this.