There’s an interesting little fight inside the New York Times this morning.
It started this morning when Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a column praising the bailout, in which he wrote:
You may recall that during the most perilous months of 2008 and early 2009, there was a vigorous debate about how the government should fix the financial system. Some economists, including Nouriel Roubini of New York University and The Times’s own Paul Krugman, declared that we should follow the example of the Swedes by nationalizing the entire banking system.
Well, Krugman doesn’t like being told he was wrong about things, especially if he wasn’t actually wrong.
In a blog post that he titled: “Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology”I certainly never said anything like that, and I don’t think Nouriel did either. First of all, I never called for “nationalizing the entire banking system” — I wanted the government to take temporary full ownership of a few weak banks, mainly Citigroup and possibly B of A. I defy Sorkin to find any examples of me calling for a total takeover.
And he ends by saying:
If you want to say that the advocates of nationalization were excessively pessimistic about the prospects for a light-touch bank strategy, fine. But caricaturing their position, making it sound far more extreme than it actually was, is definitely not OK.
So for now we’ll say two things.
First is that we’re curious to see how Sorkin reacts.
And two, can anyone find evidence that would either vindicate Sorkin?
Update: We’re awarding this one to Krugman.
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