Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paul Krugman

I had the privilege of going to a Q&A session with Paul Krugman who is a well known economist, s Nobel laureate and a syndicated columnist for the New York Times. Ten years ago he wrote a book called Depression Economics, that he has since updated and republished, predicting the current financial mess that we're in.

It was an informative session, with good questions being asked, and some good insight given throughout. The main thing that he was advocating was to increase the stimulus that the Obama administration is pushing through Congress, to at least 1.2 trillion dollars, claiming that what is needed is a full out remedy to fix these issues with the economy, rather than a half-hearted one. He said he's not "panicky" but is rather "uneasy."

I'm not sure if I agree with that. If anything, I am all for having the "free market" run its course, and have bad assets liquidated, which would give an opportunity to new entrepreneurs to come in and take a look at the market and perhaps eventually build new companies from those opportunities. Professor Krugman didn't agree with that, though. Spending is the way out of this mess, he says, and if there is no private spending, then the government should do that.

Professor Krugman was entertaining though. He had a couple of nice stories and some quips. Good wit, and very engaging. A nice close to the Q&A was a member of the audience asking him where his money is these days, and he answered "lots of cash," which was met with some laughter. But then the audience member came back and asked, "what currency?" And that brought the house down!

Like I said, interesting dialogue, and a very good event.

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