Even If Rather Crude

Posted by: Tom Keene on February 10, 2012

“Krugman has staked out a rather crude Keynesian position and unrelentingly so,” Sachs said today, referring to John Maynard Keynes, the British economist who advocated government spending to spur economic growth during the Great Depression. Krugman “knows one thing, which is stimulus, stimulus, stimulus and expand deficit spending,” Sachs said in a television interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene.

—By Alex Kowalski and Tom Keene, 9 Feb 2012, 3:14 PM ET

Oops, it was a radio interview and hear it at Bloomberg Radio+.

Sachs is Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia; Krugman is Paul Krugman of Princeton. This was a most amazing and rewarding interview. I urge you to dive into it, soonest.

Professor Sachs’s comments were in good cheer and said with respect for the laureate from The New York Times.

Which is the point. Our discourse is first and foremost always “rather crude.” Reading the above in no way captures the richness and nuance of what Sachs, Krugman, Taylor, Spence, Coronado, Glassman, and Zentner give us.

I respect immensely the We-Don’t-Have-Someone-Playing-For-The-Knicks-Chair professor’s study of Hicks, Hansen and a “rather crude Keynesian position.” IS-LM and AS-AD at the zero bound is therapy for the economicsmacro (with non-microeconomic foundations) blathered by Washington.

Yet, I yearn for the middle ground staked out by the Planet Earth professor of Morningside Heights. A stance that begs policy change and not senseless confrontation.

Move away from the one-off media quoteathon. Move towards longer interviews and nuanced debate, that leads to compare & contrast distinctions, even if rather crude. Discuss.

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EconoChat captures Tom Keene's thoughts on economics, finance and investment. He is editor-at-large for Bloomberg News and hosts Bloomberg Surveillance and Bloomberg on the Economy on NYC1130, Sirius 129 and XM 130 and Surveillance Midday on Bloomberg Television. His complete interviews are at Tom Keene on Demand. Look for Tom on twitter @tomkeene

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