by: Matt Stoller

Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 11:49

Paul Krugman, Atrios, and Echidne

This is great news.

Matt Stoller :: Congratulations!

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Congratulations! | 26 comments
"Rarely, if ever, has an economics Nobel laureate been as widely known" (4.00 / 3)
"before receiving the prize than Paul Krugman."

Indeed, indeed! And this picture is part of the evidence showing why this is so. Paul Krugman is simply the most outreaching economist of our times, a first class pundit not above participating in blogger panels, giving interviews to little known publications, and generally doing everything possible to educate the public about economic issues - in understandable terms! The total opposite of elitist, a man of and for the people.

Of course, that's not the reason why he got the Prize. But it sure makes it even more special.

Sadly (0.00 / 0)
There was Milton Freedman

[ Parent ]
Great news indeed (0.00 / 0)
It's not the best place to win it in (promoting free trade) but congrats to Krugman non the less. Well deserved!

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

There's nothing wrong with free trade.. (0.00 / 0)
as long as both sides gain a profit from it (yes, that's possible!). Krugman's work gave us a better understanding about how to make this happen. It's not his theory that is a problem, it's profit interests distorting and misusing it. As usual.

[ Parent ]
Then its not Free Trade, its just trade. (4.00 / 2)
Free Trade is a euphemism for the coercive thing large corporations use government power to enforce on weaker companies and countries. Almost always in exchange for not being devastated by punitive damages, tariffs and overthrown governments, but it is not a guarantee of protection from those.

Fair trade is the opposite of free trade. Free Trade is trade liberated from the requirements of fairness.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
"Free trade" for Krugman is economics jargon (0.00 / 0)
Free trade, in economics, is a term that has a very specific meaning: trade without (governmentally-imposed) barriers, trade specifically free from the influence of government power.  Free trade (in Krugman's writing) by definition includes freedom from tariffs and (governmental) punitive damages.  (NAFTA and CAFTA are not about free trade as Krugman meant the term, even though they use the words; both are about setting up trade blocs.)  Free trade, for example, includes the free movement of labor; an actual free trade agreement would have to address the issue of Mexican illegal immigration with some policy deeper than "send 'em all back".

[ Parent ]
his work didn't promote free trade (4.00 / 2)

He explained why free trade results in the observed patterns of what gets traded where, and why certain countries even end up importing the types of things that they export.

[ Parent ]
That's right (4.00 / 1)
And surprisingly according to the Financial times:

"Mr Krugman is one of the great popularisers of economic ideas and a trenchant critic of the Bush administration, but his prize was awarded for work done almost three decades ago in developing what is known as "new trade theory" and "new economic geography"."

Three decades in waiting!

[ Parent ]
A Sign of the Times! (0.00 / 0)
No Milton Friedman, but Paul Krugman. A victory for progressive economics!

Friedman won one over 30 years ago though. nt (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I cannot tell a lie… (0.00 / 0)
...I'm so mad about how he's been zigzagging through this meltdown that it's hard to be enthusiastic right now. Yesterday on George Stephanopoulos, Krugman said that the day after the election it'll be imperative for Democrats and Republicans to put aside partisanship, and this after criticizing Barack Obama the entire primary season for making bipartisanship a key talking point. Yes, some of Krugman's ideas are brilliant, but sometimes I wish he'd just shut up.

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

Zig zagging??? (0.00 / 0)
Imho it's obvious that partisanship AFTER the election is different from making partisanship a campaign issue. And I checked that video, Krugman specified that the market meltdown is a matter of national importance, and that the Treasury has to speak with the new administration directly after the elections (=before the inauguration). Now, anything wrong with demanding from Paulson to get into an understanding with new president Obama? You'd rather prefer that guy to ruin the economy before Janary 20th???

[ Parent ]
Quite a number of policy decisions… (0.00 / 0)
...are matters of national importance. Call me an idiot in opposition to the bailout, rescue or whatever it's being called this week, but unlike most of the folks who listen to Krugman, I don't believe that the USA would've turned into a third-world country between now and inauguration day if the big swindle had been rejected. The only way we'd be shifting worlds is if we somehow let the GOP steal another election.

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

[ Parent ]
"Call me an idiot in opposition to the bailout" (0.00 / 0)
Ok. You're an idiot in opposition to the bailout!

[ Parent ]
That's actually funny... (0.00 / 0)
...good shot. Doesn't really change the reality, though.

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

[ Parent ]
Thx (0.00 / 0)
for showing good humor. I hope that you don't misunderstand my other xcomment, too. No misunderstanding, I respect your opinion, and I guess I can understand the righteous distrust in Wall Street and the fat cats that's behind it. But if I have to bet my money on the economy(not that I have much), I prefer following the advice of real experts. Especially when those experts, like Krugman, don't have a dog of their own in the race. That's something different than believing Paulson or Bernanke, imho.

[ Parent ]
Now, seriously, (0.00 / 0)
shall we bet the economy on your "belief" that this is a big swindle? Excuse me pls, but we don't know you, you could be a high school dropout, a drug addict, or whatever. On the other hands we have lots of distinguished economists, not only the Nobel Prize winner 2009, telling us there's serious reason for concerns. Now, to whom shall we listen? Really, with all due respect, no insult intended, but that's a no brainer.

Just imagine, all mechanics in the auto shop tell you that there's something wrong with the oil flow of your engine, and you risk ruining it if you leave without repairs. Do you listen to them? Hell, maybe you're a suspicious guy and call another engineer to come and take a look at it, for a scond opinion. But you certainly won't listen to the guy with the greasy rag and the bottle of window cleaner at the next corner because it's highly unlikely he knows anything about engines at all!  

[ Parent ]
Will you agree… (0.00 / 0)
...that the Nobel prizewinner's position keeps changing? Or at the very least, that he's backtracked from his position just two weeks ago? And yet, at the time he stated it as if it was definitive--the last word. What I believe is that no package initially proposed by the Bush administration has the country's best interests in mind, so we shouldn't just accept it in a panic because it's the only thing on the table--especially when a more equitable solution could be right around the corner. This crisis didn't happen overnight, so I don't expect the solution to be any different.

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

[ Parent ]
Certainly some of his positions change from time to time (0.00 / 0)
because circumstances change. Only natural. Krugman is a pragmatic economist, not an ideologue. But a big change of opinion in the last weeks? No, I didn't notice that, and I read every single column and blog post. He was always writing positively about the swedish model ("nationalization" of banks), but made clear that even the Paulson/Dodd plan was better than simply doing nothing. Now, Paulson is already moving towards plan B, directly investing in banks, using a provision that Dems insisted on. So, this obviously goes into Krugman's direction, and it's no surprise he sees this positively. And the Brown plan is actually a copy of the '95 swedish solution, and consequently Krugman supports this quite enthusiastically. No, really, where is there any discrepancy? To me, this looks like a very consistent stance.

As to the time frame  - the Congress session has ended, lawmakers are on the campaign trail and it would be difficult to get them back for a new bill. And the new Congress starts next year. In the meantime, all parameters, for instance Libor, show a dramatic loss of liquidity in the financial markets. The economy gets hurt by the loss of credit. Investors lose confidence and consider an emergency bailout. Now, what to do in such a situation - wait til next year? Or even close the eyes and try to believe it's only a very complicated fraud, because the CEOs desperately want politicians to become owners of their banks (hehehehe)?
What's necessary in such a situation is to spread confidence and assure the markets that everything is under control. The Paulson plan tried to do that. The Brown plan seems to really do that.

Makes sense to me. But I have to admit, even though I once studied the stuff, I don't even remotely know as much about economy as Krugman.

[ Parent ]
I agree (0.00 / 0)
I think that Krugman has some splain'n to do.  I still cannot figure out why he endorsed Clinton.  To the degree that she might have followed in her husband's footsteps, it makes no sense. It seems that Bill's administration, with their pro-corporate trade agreements were exactly what Krugman might have warned against.

[ Parent ]
And you think (4.00 / 1)
Obama is different than Bill or Hillary on pro-corporate trade agreements? There is not a dimes worth of difference between them other than a few opportunistic 'being elected President votes' which didn't change the outcome of the vote itself.

Add to that the 27 million dollars Wall Street has donated to him and you know exactly who he is pulling for. Don't fall for the opportunistic populist talk just recently as a result of his latching on tho the financial meltdown to bolster his up to then non-existent economic plan.

[ Parent ]
No, (0.00 / 0)
in fact I doubt that Obama is all that different, other than that he has not yet enacted any such trade agreements.  Which, come to think of it, is a pretty significant difference.  

[ Parent ]
Great news for McCain? (0.00 / 0)

I'm pretty sure (0.00 / 0)
that the lead story on Fox news tonight will be Market soars on News that Krugman wins Nobel Prize... or maybe not.  


Oops, wrong blog.

You've been in a deep freeze the last months? (0.00 / 0)
Or maybe it's the wrong universe???

[ Parent ]
Congratulations! | 26 comments

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