Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paul Krugman

Andrew Leonard of Salon interviewed Paul Krugman, Princeton economist, New York Times columnist, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics, and author of the recently re-released The Return of Depression Economics.

One exchange from the interview:

In 1999, when the first version of "The Return of Depression Economics" was published, the title seemed provocative and its thesis was cavalierly dismissed by conservative economists. But today, fear rules the markets, John Maynard Keynes is back in fashion, and the stars of Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan are fading. What's it been like to live through this, while, in effect, live-blogging the transition via the New York Times? Is republishing (and revising) the book a big "I told you so" to your critics?

First of all, it apparently isn't that obvious that we're experiencing depression economics. Some economists, including some of the prominent econo-bloggers, are still insisting, despite everything that's going on, that there's no such thing as a liquidity trap and that the Fed can easily get the economy moving again. But anyway, yes, there's a part of me that's enjoying the vindication -- and there's probably a bit of "told ya so" in the book. On the other hand, this is really, really scary. I lead a pretty sheltered life financially, yet even so I have friends who've lost their jobs and/or much of their retirement savings, so this isn't abstract.

The one thing I guess I can say is that, right now, I'm doing the job the Times originally envisioned me doing, instead of the more political role I felt I had to take during the Bush years.
Read the complete interview.

--Marshal Zeringue