Arnold Kling  

Rajan Joins the Blogosphere

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He writes,


Paul [Krugman] is, of course, a great theoretical Nobel-prize-winning economist, so his attacks must be taken seriously (and I did take his trade theory classes at MIT, in the interest of full disclosure). Unfortunately, much of the "Fannie and Freddie did not contribute to the crisis" battalion makes arguments that have serious holes. Since these arguments are so prevalent they need to be rebutted again and again (the claimed unwillingness to listen to argument can be played on both sides).

My advice to Rajan is to have a thin skin with respect to folks like Krugman and Brad DeLong. No matter how much the facts may be on your side, the arrogant rhetoric will be on theirs.


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COMMENTS (15 to date)
kevin writes:

Surely you think Rajan should have a "Thick Skin"?

Daniel Kuehn writes:

"No matter how much the facts may be on your side, the arrogant rhetoric will be on theirs."

And yours too apparently!

Look Arnold - whenever someone thinks the facts are on their side they're always going to act in a way that the other side perceives to be arrogant. Don't think it doesn't happen on econlog too.

NiccoloA writes:

Daniel Kuehn,


OK. That is a fair point, but I have to agree with Arnold on this and I kind of get any animosity towards the combination of Krugman/DeLong.

I mean, amateurs that like to blow off some steam by trying to contribute to the blogosphere is one thing, but for academic economists like Krugman and DeLong to be so... Pretentious... Or sharp tongued is a different matter.


My judgment has been between other blogs and DeLong specifically, DeLong is particularly mean spirited and snide when replying to others.

fundamentalist writes:

The less the facts support them, the more arrogant DeLong and Krugman become. But keep the previous post in mind: the left doesn't understand economics. Krugman and DeLong are leftists. Therefore, it's clear they don't understand economics.

Daniel Kuehn writes:

NiccoloA -
Don't get me wrong - I'm not disputing the fact that they are "sharp-tongued" as you put it. Krugman I think is usually appropriately so. Brad DeLong can frustrate me - especially because I usually agree with him more than Krugman on the analysis and yet he can be very nasty. That's never a good thing. But there's a difference between sharp and nasty - and DeLong usually avoids the nastiness. What I found funny was the implication that somehow arrogant rhetoric isn't found elsewhere. It's understandable Arnold wouldn't see it - often this is in the eye of the beholder and he's going to choose not to see it when it comes from people that he agrees with.

gnat writes:

I have not read Raghu's book but my impression is that his blog post did not respond to the factual evidence presented by Krugman. Instead, the post referenced the usual arguments by the market fundamentalist anti-GSE sites.

Robert writes:

To me, Delong is not nasty, he is more of a lovable, impulsive, blowhard. In general, he is quick to denounce, but also quick to apologize and show regret when he is wrong.

Lord writes:

That's the way Rajan, rather than answer a substantive question, answer one that that doesn't advance the debate. No one besides someone living under a rock the last several years questions F&F contributed to the crisis. The question is, as Ritzholtz put it, whether but for them the crisis would not have occurred. The answer is no, and will always be no.

Patrick R. Sullivan writes:

Well, Lord, absent the meddling with loan standards by virtually all relevant sectors of the federal govt--beginning with the Boston Fed in the early 90s--would the crisis have occurred?

N.B. Commenters engaging in or encouraging flame wars will be banned. I've already removed half a dozen irrelevant, rude comments. Specifically, this comment thread will not be turned into a referendum or rudeness-fest on the way Brad DeLong handles his personal blog. Comments irrelevant to the topic of the post will be removed. --Econlib Editor

Ryan Vann writes:

In respect to the last comment, I'll refrain from posting my initial thoughts (I guess libertarian doesn't imply libertine). Anyway, are we to assume,

"No matter how much the facts may be on your side, the arrogant rhetoric will be on theirs."

is a forfeiture on any potential witty repartee wars?

chipotle writes:

I don't know whether this is what Arnold meant, but I think he's right that Rajan ought to have a thin skin with regard to Krugman and Delong. They have received undue deference for too long.

Doc Merlin writes:

Sigh... I miss the good old days of usenet, with the flame wars.
Modern Bulletin boards and pages are just too awkward for the kind of discussions that usenet was famous for.

:-(

chandra writes:

well said kling!

Joey writes:

I agree with Chipotle.

Whenever someone criticizes Krugman or DeLong, there seems to be an obligatory preface about what wonderful economists they are.

Rajan did it his post.

The preface is, of course, true. But after several years of digesting the econoblogosphere, it is unbelievably tiresome.

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