Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, is a man with a plan and an ego. His plan was rejected by those who should have known better. He’s sounds more than a little bitter:
What Profit Hath A Man Of All His Labor?
I’m in a weird mood as the [stock] markets tumble [around the world]. It will pass, but right now I feel like the preacher in Ecclesiastes, wondering about the point of it all.
Here’s the point: back around 1998 I was among those who looked at the crisis in Asia and realized what it implied — namely, that the problems that caused the Great Depression had not been solved, and that it could happen again. The speculative attacks on smaller nations, the liquidity trap in Japan, were omens for all of us. In 1999 I wrote a book, The Return of Depression Economics, saying all that.
When the 2008 crisis struck, it was immediately clear that this was what we had been afraid of. And it was desperately important that policy makers realize that we were in a world where the usual rules no longer applied.
But they didn’t. The banks were rescued — but as soon as that happened, the moralizers and deficit worriers, the people who see hyperinflation lurking under every bed, took over. Warnings that we were repeating not just the mistakes of Japan but the mistakes of Hoover and Bruening were waved away as the squeaking of people of no consequence, never mind the fact that some of us had pretty fancy credentials.
And now we are exactly where I feared we’d be, repeating all the old mistakes and experiencing all the old consequences.
As I said, I’ll get over it. But grant me a moment to look on the past three years, and despair.