“That’s everybody’s challenge: come up with a clearly beneficial example of financial innovation without mention A.T.M.s, and no one can do it. If there are arbitrage opportunities and you’re able to spot them a few seconds before anybody else, you can make a lot of money, but there’s no actual social gain from doing that.”
Good profile, and amazing to see how late he was to become interested in politics – he was mostly interested in problem-solving in economics and worked in Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is pretty critical of some people in politics. Don Regan, Reagan’s Secretary of Treasury “was not that bright.” And he can’t stand Robert Reich or Lester Thurow (known among economists as Less than Thorough) for glib assertions and inadequate thought.
The profile shows the distance between economics and finance, and corporate governance, for that matter and he was critical of Obama, his last choice among the Democratic candidates, for all his sentimental feel-good stuff.
And he is a science fiction fan.
“If you read other genres of fiction you can learn about the way people are and the way society is, but you don’t get very much thinking about why things are the way they are, or what might make them different. What would happen if.”
Economics, he learned at Yale, was a way of making sense of the world.
If you read Krugman, whether you love him or hate him, you should find this interesting.
Also see the author’s live chat with Krugman.
From the interview:
“Government isn’t nearly as bad—or the private sector nearly as good—as it’s often portrayed. I know I lot of very good, very hard-working government employees; and while I don’t work for a large corporation, I do read Dilbert.”