Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cover Boy: Paul Krugman

Newsweek profiles Paul Krugman in its cover story.

In the profile, we learn:

"Krugman is a European Social Democrat. Brought up to worship the New Deal"

That, "Krugman generally applauds Obama's efforts to tax the rich in his budget and try for massive health-care reform. "

He says he is "more of an interventionist" than Director of the White House's National Economic Council Larry Summers.

"Krugman has a bit of a reputation for settling scores. 'He doesn't suffer fools. He doesn't like hauteur in any shape or form. He doesn't like to be f––ked with,' says his friend and colleague Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz. "

Uh oh.

"Krugman's fellow geniuses sometimes tease him or intentionally provoke his wrath. At an economic conference in Tokyo in 1994, Krugman spent so much time berating others that his friends purposely started telling him things that they knew weren't true, just to see him get riled up. "He fell for it every time," said a journalist who was there but asked not to be identified so she could speak candidly. "You'd think that eventually, he would say, 'Oh, come on, you're just jerking my chain'." Krugman says he doesn't recall the incident, but says it's 'possible'."

"His model and hero is John Maynard Keynes"

"The Obama White House is careful not to provoke the wrath of Krugman any more than necessary. Treasury officials go out of their way to praise him by name (while also decrying the bank-rescue prescriptions of him and his ilk as 'deeply impractical'). But the administration does not seek to cultivate him."

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