Friday Afternoon Miscellany
By Arnold Kling
Keith Hennessey has an interesting question.
What thought leader most clearly and effectively presents points of view with which you frequently strongly disagree?
He proposes that awards be given.
Would Tyrone be considered eligible?
Presumably, my nominees have to be progressives. My left-of-center blog reading list includes Mark Thoma, Menzie Chinn, and James Kwak, whose names are probably not well-known enough to count. I get a lot of second-hand references to Matt Yglesias, Kevin Drum, Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, and Ezra Klein. I recently booed Alan Blinder, but I still like him.
Joseph Stiglitz might be the best choice for me. He is certainly famous. He annoys people on the left, not just people on the right. He says enough things that I agree with to keep me on my toes and wonder whether he may be right about the things where we disagree. If only he weren’t so arrogant. If they gave Stiglitz a personality transplant using somebody like Thoma as a donor, then I would nominate him in a heartbeat.
Mahalanobis points out that New York is using a national emergency grant to offer scholarship money to people seeking to become certified in quantitative finance. That should help draw talent out of areas where it is in surplus and into a sector where it is scarce. Christina Romer will no doubt be toting up the jobs saved by that part of the stimulus.
The topic of financial regulation is discussed by a confessed user of high-priced prostitutes and a confessed autistic. They find much to agree on.