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Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: Paul Krugman, 19 July 2012

... Americans who have anything to do with politics to be mild-mannered and level-headed, so when Paul Krugman came to London in May to promote his book End This Depression Now! (Norton, £14.99), even my landlord was impressed. Becoming a political pundit was never Krugman’s aspiration. You can tell he considers it ...

The Vision Thing

Eyal Press: Paul Krugman, 19 June 2008

The Conscience of a Liberal: Reclaiming America from the Right 
by Paul Krugman.
Allen Lane, 296 pp., £20, March 2008, 978 1 84614 107 2
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... In 1997, the Princeton economist Paul Krugman wrote an article entitled ‘In Praise of Cheap Labour’ in the online magazine Slate, suggesting that those concerned about conditions in Third World sweatshops ought to save their tears for a worthier cause. The greatest beneficiaries of free trade, Krugman declared, ‘are, yes, Third World workers ...

The Gatekeeper

Adam Tooze: Krugman’s Conversion, 22 April 2021

Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for a Better Future 
by Paul Krugman.
Norton, 444 pp., £13.99, February, 978 0 393 54132 8
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... PaulKrugman’s latest collection of essays, Arguing with Zombies, first appeared in January 2020. Not only was it quickly buried by Covid, but he missed out on a thing all too rare for a pundit: the opportunity to declare victory. A year later, in Joe Biden’s Washington, Krugmanism rules ...

Short Cuts

Simon Wren-Lewis: Magic Money Trees, 13 July 2017

... Only the Tories had taken ‘the difficult decisions’ to bring the deficit down. Economists like Paul Krugman and me argued that in fact it was the height of incompetence to start bringing the deficit down so early in the recovery, but our voices were largely drowned out by what I call ‘mediamacro’, one of whose tenets is that the government is just ...

On Wall Street

Keith Gessen, 20 October 2011

... weeks than in the past few years, but maybe they have. It’s one thing to get berated by bearded Paul Krugman and irascible Barney Frank; it’s another to be told to shut up (‘Money talks … too much,’ one poster read) by an ever growing group of nice-looking kids. For banking to stop siphoning off some of the brightest people around would be a ...

How to get on in the new Iraq

Carol Brightman: James Baker’s drop-the-debt tour, 4 March 2004

... confirmed at the highest reaches of power. Public attention, however, was swiftly drawn to Paul Wolfowitz’s petulant reminder, issued on the day Baker’s appointment was announced, that Russia, France and Germany had forfeited their access to America’s $18.6 billion in reconstruction contracts. ‘It’s understandable that the Bush team ...

Is this how democracy ends?

David Runciman: A Failed State?, 1 December 2016

... election night​ , almost as soon as it was clear that the unthinkable had become a cold reality, Paul Krugman asked in the New York Times whether the US was now a failed state. Political scientists who normally study American democracy in splendid isolation are starting to turn their attention to Africa and Latin America. They want to know what happens ...


David Runciman: Occupy, 25 October 2012

The Occupy Handbook 
edited by Janet Byrne.
Back Bay, 535 pp., $15.99, April 2012, 978 0 316 22021 7
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... so it includes a wide mix of people, including plenty of liberal professionals. Really, as Paul Krugman likes to point out, it’s the 0.1 per cent or even the 0.01 per cent who have been getting away with it on the grandest scale. But ‘We are the 99.9 per cent’ or ‘We are the 99.99 per cent’ seem like increasingly pointless slogans. You ...

How can it work?

David Runciman: American Democracy, 21 March 2013

... or two, the people wake up, and the ship of state slowly rights itself. The British historian Paul Kennedy, in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, published in 1987, offers a very different view. This is not the story of twenty to thirty-year cycles of intervention and laissez-faire, but of two to three hundred-year cycles of imperial ascendancy and ...

The Cattle-Prod Election

David Runciman: The Point of the Polls, 5 June 2008

... holiday, accompanied with a side-swipe at economists who said it wouldn’t work (including Paul Krugman, one of the few economists who has been out there making the case for her candidacy). But as I write this, on the morning of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, even though I know she can’t really win, I still want her to thump Obama in ...

Pain, No Gain

William Davies: Inflation Fixation, 13 July 2023

... would be a better response to the current situation than monetary tightening (‘truly stupid’, Paul Krugman called her position on Twitter, before deleting the tweet and apologising). Weber’s argument, supported since with empirical analysis, was that profits were responsible for rising prices, not wages. In politically sensitive areas such as ...

Scalpers Inc.

John Lanchester: ‘Flash Boys’, 5 June 2014

Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code 
by Michael Lewis.
Allen Lane, 274 pp., £20, March 2014, 978 0 241 00363 3
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... and to what extent is it a story about the nature of modern capitalism? In a New York Times op-ed, Paul Krugman argued that the important point isn’t so much the specifics of Lewis’s story, as the big picture of a dysfunctional and predatory financial sector: ‘Never mind the debate about exactly how much damage high-frequency trading does. It’s ...

The Austerity Con

Simon Wren-Lewis, 19 February 2015

... would help stimulate the economy. This flips conventional macroeconomic logic on its head; Paul Krugman dismissed it as believing in the ‘confidence fairy’. The second argument was that austerity wouldn’t make the recession worse because of the new policy of quantitative easing. The aim there was to put downward pressure on long-term ...

The Fastidious President

David Bromwich: The Matter with Obama, 18 November 2010

... might have done better if mixed with economists of other views like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. Obama knew little economics, however, and he took the word of the orthodox. It would have been wiser, from a merely prudential standpoint, to consult Summers behind a screen. But Obama has always craved legitimacy in a conspicuous form. He is a ...

Why stop at two?

Greg Grandin: Latin America Pulls Away, 22 October 2009

Leftovers: Tales of the Latin American Left 
edited by Jorge Castañeda and Marco Morales.
Routledge, 267 pp., £17.99, February 2008, 978 0 415 95671 0
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... the Mexican fountain’. The two-year-long, tight-money programme – run in the early 1980s by Paul Volcker, the chair of the US Federal Reserve – greatly inflated the value of dollar-denominated Latin American debt, leading the IMF to step in and order a structural adjustment programme. In exchange for refinancing their loans, the IMF forced a majority ...

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