Some might raise issues about his personality or temperament. While it’s probably true that he can be abrasive, if personality was a critical issue then Larry Summers would be handing out fish parts to penguins in Antarctica rather than a leading contender to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board.No worries. The government will continue to do all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. Follow the money.
The major reason that Krugman is not on anyone’s short list is that he has been right about most of the important issues in economic policy over the last decade. The list where Krugman has been right and the Washington insiders have been wrong is a long one....
It is precisely this track record of being right on most of the key policy calls of the last decade that makes Krugman unacceptable as a candidate for Treasury Secretary. To be a serious candidate for this position it is necessary to have been wrong on most or all of these issues.
This should make the public very angry. Apart from what this says about the state of meritocracy in the United States -- we like to think that people advance for being right and get demoted or fired for being wrong -- there is the more important issue of what it says about the course of our economic policy.
If Krugman were Treasury Secretary we could envision a policy that was focused on creating jobs rather than reducing a deficit that exists almost entirely because of the downturn in the economy.We could also envision a policy that sought to tame the bloated financial sector with a speculation tax that would make much of the creative finance on Wall Street unprofitable. And, we would not have to worry that cutting Social Security and Medicare is the top priority for the Obama administration.
But, Krugman is not on the short list for Treasury Secretary. This list has the names of people who are much more acceptable to Wall Street who, by the way, have been wrong on almost everything important about the economy in the last decade. As a result, we should be very very afraid.