The blogosphere is having fun with Paul Krugman today (see my own take on things in the post just below this one). But lest we forget: Krugman has always been hypocritical about making his own big bucks. This is from Andrew Sullivan’s website, years ago:

KRUGMAN IN HIS OWN WORDS: “Economists also did their bit to legitimize previously unthinkable levels of executive pay. During the 1980′s and 1990′s a torrent of academic papers — popularized in business magazines and incorporated into consultants’ recommendations — argued that Gordon Gekko was right: greed is good; greed works. In order to get the best performance out of executives, these papers argued, it was necessary to align their interests with those of stockholders. And the way to do that was with large grants of stock or stock options.

It’s hard to escape the suspicion that these new intellectual justifications for soaring executive pay were as much effect as cause. I’m not suggesting that management theorists and economists were personally corrupt. It would have been a subtle, unconscious process: the ideas that were taken up by business schools, that led to nice speaking and consulting fees, tended to be the ones that ratified an existing trend, and thereby gave it legitimacy.”

- Paul Krugman, criticizing the subtle, unconscious corruption of academic economists being paid nice speaking and consulting fees, October 20, 2002.

“My critics seem to think that there was something odd about Enron’s willingness to pay a mere college professor that much money. But such sums are not unusual for academic economists whose expertise is relevant to current events… Remember that this was 1999: Asia was in crisis, the world was a mess. And justifiably or not, I was regarded as an authority on that mess. I invented currency crises as an academic field, way back in 1979; anyone who wants a sense of my academic credentials should look at the Handbook of International Economics, vol. 3, and check the index…

I mention all this not as a matter of self-puffery, but to point out that I was not an unknown college professor. On the contrary, I was a hot property, very much in demand as a speaker to business audiences: I was routinely offered as much as $50,000 to speak to investment banks and consulting firms. They thought I might tell them something useful… The point is that the money Enron offered wasn’t out of line with what companies with no interest in influence-buying were offering me. You may think I was overpaid, but the market – not Enron – set those pay rates.”

- Paul Krugman, January 21, defending his getting paid $50,000 for a two-day weekend Enron Advisory Board meeting because the market set the fees.

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3 Responses to “Paul Krugman’s Hypocrisy Goes Viral.”

  1. dmf Says:

    anyone still pushing “growth” as a solution to the our current unfolding collapses (political, economic, environmental) is part of the problem…

  2. Bill Gleason Says:

    Is Professor Krugman being underpaid, perhaps?

    The University of Minnesota recently paid Provost Condoleezza Rice, of Stanford University, $150,000 to speak.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Bill: For one speech? That’s disgusting.

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