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View Diary: Bill Clinton: I Shouldn't Have Listened to Summers and Rubin [Substantive Update] (341 comments)

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  •  Krugman turned down an offer to work on Clinton's (3+ / 0-)

    econmic team in the 90's.  And pre-emptively turned down any potential Obama offers.  Krugman said he didn't have the temperament for government work and was more valuable critiquing from the peanut gallery.

    •  Of course, Krugman does not support breaking up (0+ / 0-)

      banks to avoid "too big to fail",  as say Simon Johnson does.  Assuming for sake of argument, Obama had hired both Krugman and Johnson and they were both in a meeting discussing whether the reform legislation should include language to prohibit banks from having more than a certain level of assets and Johnson lost the debate to Krugman.  The bill that the President eventually supports does not include provisions supported by Johnson.  Twenty years later, the economy tanks after a very large banking institution fails.  Would it be fair to call Krugman a "piece of shit" or a "shill" if his advice was wrong, if his judgment was wrong.

      I agree that Rubin and Summers were wrong.  And I believe Summers deserves attack for his views about women in scientific fields as they were prejudicially-based.   But in many professional fields, particularly economics, experts make judgments that are erroneous and have severe consequences despite their being offered in good faith.   The tenor of commentary about these men and the worry that they have Obama under their exclusive control borders on the hysterical and is similar to the constant ane speculative appropriation of every "bad" thing the administration has done to Rahm Emanuel without much, if any, evidence other than he dissed progressives (of which I am one).  I seriously doubt these two men do not now recognize that they made big mistakes.  I also seriously doubt Obama lets any one advisor control his final decisions.  He expects lively debate from every account I've heard.   I assume he wants to hear from those who made mistakes.  Remember Keynes, the economist who is most responsible for the reinvigorated view that gov't spending is necessary to create demand after a serious recession was, prior to the Depression, an avowed Free Market disciple who would never have agreed with the views that he later developed and embraced had he been more rigid.  Under the theories of many commentors here, FDR would have been a fool to talk to Keynes (or listen to people who have read Keynesian theory) because Keynes had previously supported views at least partially responsible for the Depression.  Fortunately, FDR had sufficient faith that smart men, particularly in the pseudopscience of economics, have the capacity to reconsider views that were erroneous.    

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