Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a regular columnist for The New York Times. Krugman was the 2008 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. He is the author of numerous books, including The Conscience of A Liberal, The Return of Depression Economics, and his most recent, End This Depression Now!.

Articles by this author

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Friday, January 15, 2010
Bankers Without a Clue
The official Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission - the group that aims to hold a modern version of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, whose investigations set the stage for New Deal bank regulation - began taking testimony on Wednesday. In its first panel, the commission grilled four major financial-industry honchos. What did we learn? Well, if you were hoping for a Perry Mason moment - a scene in which the witness blurts out: "Yes! I admit it! I did it! And I'm glad!" - the hearing was disappointing. What you got, instead, was witnesses blurting out: "Yes! I admit it!
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Monday, January 11, 2010
Learning From Europe
As health care reform nears the finish line, there is much wailing and rending of garments among conservatives. And I'm not just talking about the tea partiers. Even calmer conservatives have been issuing dire warnings that Obamacare will turn America into a European-style social democracy. And everyone knows that Europe has lost all its economic dynamism.
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Friday, January 08, 2010
Bubbles and the Banks
Health care reform is almost (knock on wood) a done deal. Next up: fixing the financial system. I'll be writing a lot about financial reform in the weeks ahead. Let me begin by asking a basic question: What should reformers try to accomplish? A lot of the public debate has been about protecting borrowers. Indeed, a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to help stop deceptive lending practices is a very good idea. And better consumer protection might have limited the overall size of the housing bubble.
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Monday, December 28, 2009
The Big Zero
Maybe we knew, at some unconscious, instinctive level, that it would be an era best forgotten. Whatever the reason, we got through the first decade of the new millennium without ever agreeing on what to call it. The aughts? The naughties? Whatever. (Yes, I know that strictly speaking the millennium didn’t begin until 2001. Do we really care?) But from an economic point of view, I’d suggest that we call the decade past the Big Zero. It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true.
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Monday, December 21, 2009
A Dangerous Dysfunction
Unless some legislator pulls off a last-minute double-cross, health care reform will pass the Senate this week. Count me among those who consider this an awesome achievement. It's a seriously flawed bill, we'll spend years if not decades fixing it, but it's nonetheless a huge step forward. It was, however, a close-run thing. And the fact that it was such a close thing shows that the Senate - and, therefore, the U.S. government as a whole - has become ominously dysfunctional.
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Monday, December 14, 2009
Disaster and Denial
When I first began writing for The Times, I was naïve about many things. But my biggest misconception was this: I actually believed that influential people could be moved by evidence, that they would change their views if events completely refuted their beliefs. And to be fair, it does happen now and then. I’ve been highly critical of Alan Greenspan over the years (since long before it was fashionable), but give the former Fed chairman credit: he has admitted that he was wrong about the ability of financial markets to police themselves.
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Friday, December 11, 2009
Bernanke’s Unfinished Mission
Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, recently had some downbeat things to say about our economic prospects. The economy, he warned, “confronts some formidable headwinds.” All we can expect, he said, is “modest economic growth next year — sufficient to bring down the unemployment rate, but at a pace slower than we would like.” Actually, he may have been too optimistic: There’s a good chance that unemployment will rise, not fall, over the next year. But even if it does inch down, one has to ask: Why isn’t the Fed trying to bring it down faster?
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Friday, November 27, 2009
Taxing the Speculators
Should we use taxes to deter financial speculation? Yes, say top British officials, who oversee the City of London, one of the world's two great banking centers. Other European governments agree - and they're right. Unfortunately, United States officials - especially Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary - are dead set against the proposal. Let's hope they reconsider: a financial transactions tax is an idea whose time has come.
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Friday, November 20, 2009
The Big Squander
Earlier this week, the inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a k a, the bank bailout fund, released his report on the 2008 rescue of the American International Group, the insurer. The gist of the report is that government officials made no serious attempt to extract concessions from bankers, even though these bankers received huge benefits from the rescue. And more than money was lost. By making what was in effect a multibillion-dollar gift to Wall Street, policy makers undermined their own credibility - and put the broader economy at risk.
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Monday, November 09, 2009
Paranoia Strikes Deep
Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we've grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption "National Socialist Healthcare." It was grotesque - and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.
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