Earlier today, Ben Bernanke tore into New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who previously blasted Bernanke in a big NYT magazine piece for not staying consistent with past policy positions. Here’s what President Obama said about Paul Krugman today in his much-publicized interview with Rolling Stone:
Do you read Paul Krugman?
I read all of the New York Times columnists. Krugman’s obviously one of the smartest economic reporters out there, but I also read some of the conservative columnists, just to get a sense of where those arguments are going.
At a press conference earlier today, Bernanke addressed this magazine story which took Bernanke to task for not following his own economic advice, specifically on his old writings about Japan. Krugman slammed Bernanke for being too cautious compared with previous writings.
When asked about it today, Bernanke said it was “absolutely incorrect.”
So there’s this view circulating that the views I expressed about 15 years ago on the Bank of Japan are somehow inconsistent with our current policies. That is absolutely incorrect. My views and our policies today are completely consistent with the views that I held at that time. I made two points at that time. To the Bank of Japan, the first was that I believe a determined central bank could, and should, work to eliminate deflation, that it’s falling prices.
Krugman has been critical of the Obama administration during the past three years. He even had dinner with the President! Alas, it was to no avail, for they still did not agree on economic policy.
Meanwhile, things got weird in the Rolling Stone interview when Jann Wenner asked Obama what else he reads. Obama continues:
There are a handful of blogs, Andrew Sullivan’s on the Daily Beast being an example, that combine thoughtful analysis with a sampling of lots of essays that are out there. The New Yorker and The Atlantic still do terrific work. Every once in a while, I sneak in a novel or a nonfiction book.
I thought you were going to say Playboy.
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