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September 16, 2008

Greg Mankiw Is Funny!

Greg Mankiw is an ultra-fancy economics professor at Harvard who teaches a famous introductory class there. Here's what he wrote on his blog yesterday:

Today is the first day of Harvard's academic year, and the first day of a new year of ec 10. I will give the introductory lecture at noon.

I would like to thank all my friends on Wall Street for doing so much to spark interest in economic issues. You have gone beyond the call of duty, and your timing could not have been better.

Ha ha ha! That's quite droll!

But here's what Professor Mankiw is too funny to mention: he was Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003-2005, during some of the prime years of the housing bubble's inflation. Thus there are probably fewer than five people on earth who had more power to get things under control. Yet not only did Mankiw do nothing whatsoever, when I interviewed him for an article in 2005 (after he left the White House and returned to Harvard), he become extremely agitated at the notion that a housing bubble even existed.

Hence, he should get a large, large chunk of the credit for managing to "spark interest in economic issues." I guess he's just too modest to bring it up!

ALSO: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess there's a connection between Mankiw's White House performance on the housing bubble and the impressive number of "friends on Wall Street" he possesses.

AND: Besides being so funny, Mankiw is a hero to the oppressed.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 16, 2008 09:18 AM

Rumor has it that Harvard College, once aka Kremlin on the Charles, will merge with the Harvard Business School and the new entity will become Goldman Sachs-The Boston Campus.
By the way, who are "the oppressed" you bring up often? Is Norman Solomon oppressed? Dennis Perrin? Bernard Chazelle? Who's oppressing them?
Can you name three (3) oppressed persons? If you can, I want it stopped immediately.
Gets harder by the day to take anything seriously.
Might as well enjoy the ride down the dark side of the mountain.

Posted by: donescobar at September 16, 2008 10:09 AM

Well, that's repressed, not oppressed, and there's only one . . . never mind . . .

Posted by: Monkay at September 16, 2008 12:42 PM

So where's the link to the interview?

Posted by: darrelplant at September 16, 2008 01:38 PM

Speak of what you know, or you will know not of what you speak. Mankiw is center-left in orientation and replaced uber-conservative policy icon Martin Feldstein as the professor of Harvard's introductory economics course. I had both professors for advanced economics courses at Harvard. Each was balanced, lucid, funny, engaging, and presented the partisanship within their arguments in a way that was not at all deceptive or seductive. Mankiw often found himself at odds with neocon orthodoxy while working in the administration, while Feldstein decried the deficit spending of the Bush years. Enough partisan jeering, these are both smart guys who, in their own words, could work out an economic policy that each would be 95% happy with in about an hour if the finished product didn't have to get through congress.

Posted by: Harvard Liberal at September 16, 2008 11:56 PM

I think our Harvard Liberal is center-right.

Posted by: Harvard Reactionary at September 17, 2008 10:20 AM

With all due respect, Harvard Liberal, but you have no idea what you're talking about. Mankiw is "center-left in orientation"? Have you read his blog?

Posted by: Peter H at September 17, 2008 03:26 PM

Stop being partisan and congratulate people for doing the wrong things.

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at September 17, 2008 11:18 PM

Dear Harvard Liberal,

Mankiw is as much 'center-left' as VI Lenin was 'center-right'.

Warm Regards

Posted by: almostinfamous at September 18, 2008 01:51 AM

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