Paul Krugman Wins Economics Nobel
Posted by Fredsvenn den oktober 13, 2008
Les: Et stadig større gap
Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton University and an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday.
“It’s been an extremely weird day, but weird in a positive way,” Mr. Krugman said in an interview on his way to a Washington meeting for the Group of Thirty, an international body from the public and private sectors that discusses international economics. He said he was mostly “preoccupied with the hassles” of trying to make all his scheduled meetings today and answer a constantly-ringing cell phone.
Mr. Krugman received the award for his work on international trade and economic geography. In particular, the prize committee lauded his work for “having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity.” He has developed models that explain observed patterns of trade between countries, as well as what goods are produced where and why. Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and will exchange different kinds of goods with each other; Mr. Krugman’s theories have explained why worldwide trade is dominated by a few countries that are similar to each other, and why some countries might import the same kinds of goods that it exports.
Mr. Krugman follows a number of Clark medal recipients who have gone on to win a Nobel, including Mr. Stiglitz. Krugman is generally considered a neo-Keynesian economist, with his views outlined in his books such as Peddling Prosperity. Krugman’s International Economics: Theory and Policy is a standard textbook on international economics that explains currency crises and New Trade Theory. Mr. Krugman continues to teach at Princeton.
Mr. Krugman has been an Op-Ed columnist at the New York Times since 1999. A collection of his recent columns can be found here.
“For economists, this is a validation but not news. We know what each other have been up to,” Mr. Krugman said. “For readers of the column, maybe they will read a little more carefully when I’m being economistic, or maybe have a little more tolerance when I’m being boring.”
He said that he does not expect his critics to let him off any easier because of his new accolade, though.
“I think we’ve learned this when we see Joe Stiglitz writing,” Mr. Krugman said, referring to the winner of the economics Nobel in 2001. “I haven’t noticed him getting an easy time. People just say, ‘Sure, he’s a great Nobel laureate and he’s very smart, but he still doesn’t know what he’s talking about in this situation.’ I’m sure I’ll get the same thing.”
Krugman was one of many economists to serve as a consultant for an advisory board for Enron; he did this in 1999, being paid $37,500 before New York Times rules required him to resign when he took a job as a columnist in 2000. He stated later the consulting was to offer, «Enron executives briefings on economic and political issues», and that it had required him to, «spend four days in Houston.» However, when the story of Enron’s corporate scandals broke, critics accused him of having a conflict of interest and the job of having been a bribe to control media coverage, charges he denies forcefully. He points out that in columns written before and after the scandal, he disclosed his past Enron relationship when he wrote about the company. He was critical of the company: he was one of the first writers to argue that deregulation of the California energy market had led to market-manipulation by energy companies (in a column in the New York Times on December 10, 2000 called «California Screaming»); Enron was the largest in this market; he criticized it directly in August 17, 2001.
To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.
Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush declared that «America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.»
Near the top of his list was the promise that «to give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.»
There was a reason he placed such importance on oil: oil is pretty much the only thing Iraq has going for it. Two-thirds of Iraq’s G.D.P. and almost all its government revenue come from the oil sector. Without an agreed system for sharing oil revenues, there is no Iraq, just a collection of armed gangs fighting for control of resources.
Well, the legislation Mr. Bush promised never materialized, and on Wednesday attempts to arrive at a compromise oil law collapsed.
What’s particularly revealing is the cause of the breakdown. Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site announced that the provincial government had signed a production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that seems to have been the last straw.
Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.
Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the «axis of evil.»
No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government – which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January – won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.
The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration – maybe even Mr. Bush himself – know this, too.
Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.
What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq – and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war – will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.
Stiglitz – Irak
Naomi Klein – Shock Doctrine in Effect?
Paul Krugman on Soros
Paul Krugman on Soros: SYNOPSIS: The strange case of George Soros, a speculator who hates speculation. Ponders his case for restriction, arguing that overall benefits are worth some inefficency. – George Soros compared to Paul Krugman
The Shit is really hitting the fan now. The old stalwarts of capitalism, like The Economist, Alan Greenspan, economics textbooks authors like Gregory Mankiw and neoclassically-minded professors all around the world are frantically wiping the crap off their faces and deciding what to do next. The era of unbridled consumption which started after World War II and continued unabated for over 50 years has now ended and … a new era is about to be born. : Adbusters.org