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Apocalypse Not Now: Paul Krugman on the State and Direction of the American Economy

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Paul Krugman, perhaps the United States best-known active economist by virtue of his NY Times column and popular books, has posted a though-provoking lecture from his class at Princeton – The Return of Depression Economics?

Among the contentions of just how bad the current financial condition of the country really was, Krugman notes that “we basically replayed the first year of the Great Depression” in that “year one was a full match for the Great Depression itself.” His relative optimism springs from the conclusion thatafter “the mother of all asset bubbles in housing, probably the biggest mis-pricing and overvaluing of assets in history … we do not appear to be replaying the second year of the Great Depression.”

Audio: Paul Krugman, The Return of Depression Economics?, Oct. 21, 2009 (download mp3)

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Krugman’s narrative – an economic catastrophe originating in Reagan’s deregulation was saved by the stabilizing influence of big government (“deficit spending saved the world”!) – is not one I’m entirely willing to accept, but the discussion is nothing if not thought-provoking.

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Category: economics

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