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The Summary I've Been Waiting For

A Can't-Do Government, Paul Krugman, NY Times.

One-stop shopping for the laundry list of what needs to be said about the federal government's role in New Orleans, stated without excess vitriol, laid out from end to end.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
You forgot to put "former Enron Adviser" before his name.
Sep. 4th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)

I'm not quite sure how that's relevant to Prof. Krugman's suitability as an analyst of the present situation. Do you mean to imply that as a former advisor to Enron, he should know mismanagement when he sees it? I suppose there's some validity to that point, but I think other elements of Prof. Krugman's biography would be more to the point: his MIT PhD; his service on the faculty of MIT, Stanford, Yale and (currently) Princeton; his John Bates Clark medal — all of those would seem better evidence of his credentials than his stint as a member of Ken Lay's "advisory council"

Or perhaps you think Prof. Krugman will go easy on his criticism because so many in the administration had close ties to Enron? The President, the details of whose relationship with his friend "Kenny Boy" Lay have not yet seen the light of day; the Vice President, who has continued to fight all efforts to force him to release details of the energy policy guidance he received from Enron; former Attorney General Ashcroft, who only recused himself from the Enron investigation after ordering that it be conducted by an internal DOJ task force rather than by a grand jury, as serious criminal cases generally are; Lawrence Lindsey, former Enron Director and top White House economic advisor; and many others, including Robert Zoellick, the US Trade Representative until last spring, who was, like Prof. Krugman, a member of Enron's Advisory Council. But I find it hard to see how Prof. Krugman was pulling any punches in his article — do you see anything in it to make you suspect he was taking it easy on the administration?

The advisory council was part of Enron's go-go image on Wall Street: Pay a bunch of public intellectuals (mostly economists) $50k or so to come to Enron headquarters a couple of times a year and shoot the breeze. Wall Street ate it up: Whatever the future held, Enron was going to know about it ahead of time and be ready. I don't know what Princeton pays faculty, but I'll give long odds it's not enough to make any of their faculty members turn down $25k/day speaking gigs.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


just a guy made of dots and lines

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