The Best of: “With Notably Rare Exceptions”
IAS 107: March 31, 2011 Inflation III Lecture

Work for McCain in 2008? The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and Company Will Claim You Lead a Sinister Global Conspiracy so Immense...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

The downward spiral of the American media continues...

This evening I read in the Wall Street Journal and Fox News that I am part of a Sinister Global Conspiracy so Immense, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, which aims to “establish new international rules... reform the currency system... [seeks] an economic system where America isn’t so dominant... [seeks] a new [monetary] agreement... between the United States and China... China figures prominently... [is] Bush-hating... [is] designed to put America in its place... [seeks] a multilateral world... changing the global economy and the United States to make them 'acceptable'..."

Is it true?

Google "INET"--for the Institute for New Economic Thinking--right now and you find that INET is right now highlighting:

inet - Google Search: Front Page | Institute for New Economic Thinking: INET Advisory Board Member Kenneth Rogoff was awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics yesterday for his pioneering contributions to the field ...

Who is Ken Rogoff? Well, he is a very, very good economist--IMHO, should have been one of those sharing the Nobel Prize with Paul Krugman in 2008. And, among other things, he was one of John McCain's economic advisers during the 2008 presidential campaign:

Chess - McCain Economics Adviser Has a Grandmaster’s Rank: Could a grandmaster become a member of the next administration? Possibly. Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor at Harvard, is an economics adviser to the Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. Rogoff is also a grandmaster. Rogoff said that he has known McCain since meeting him at an economics conference years ago. “One of the reasons that I think I got along with him was that I felt like I could say what I wanted even if it was not what he wanted to hear,” Rogoff said.... Rogoff said he was not “a political animal” or tied to one party. “I have never associated myself with a candidate or administration before,” he said, but “I see Senator McCain as making important changes where change is needed”...

I guess it is true only if the Sinister Global Conspiracy so Immense has grown so large as to extend its tentacles even into the advisors of the most senior leaders of the Republican Party.

My grandfather used to tell me stories about how back in the 1950s there were Californians from Orange County who sincerely believed that Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Communist, but they weren't given platforms at the Wall Street Journal or on major news networks...

What is the problem according to the Journal and Fox News? The problem is that INET is having its annual conference in April, and 200 economists (including me) are going. How did they learn about this Sinister Global Conspiracy so Immense? By going to You can do it too:

Bretton Woods Conference | Institute for New Economic Thinking: INET is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual conference April 8-11, 2011 at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the scene of the great conference that established a renewed global economic architecture as World War II drew to a close.

Today, as the aftershocks of our own Global Finance Crisis continue to reverberate, we face our own challenge of reconstruction. The 1944 conference was, famously, largely an Anglo-American affair, whereas today's reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In the years since the 1944 conference, the globalization of production, trade, and especially finance, has transformed our economy, but has not yet transformed our system of regulation or our tools of policy intervention. Indeed, our very habits of thought and speech lag behind the realities that we desperately need to think and speak about.

This conference reflects INET's dedication to inspiring and provoking new economic thinking. More than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders from around the world will be attending.

Who is talking? It is a very good group of very smart and thoughtful people:

Anat Admati, Phillipe Aghion, W. Brian Arthur, Jim Balsillie, Eric Beinhocker, Erik Berglöf, Tom Bernes, Paul Blustein, Claudio Borio, James Boughton, Richard Bronk, Gordon Brown, Wendy Carlin, Mark Carney, John Cassidy, Ha-Joon Chang, Barbara Craig, Marcello De Cecco, Charles Dallara, Paul Davidson, Brad Delong, Barry Eichengreen, Alex Evans, Niall Ferguson, Tom Ferguson, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Duncan Foley, Jeffrey Frankel, Chrystia Freeland, Roman Frydman, Ian Goldin, Andy Haldane, Joseph Halevi, Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich, Kevin Hoover, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Yasheng Huang, Joyce Jacobsen, Harold James, William Janeway, Marleen Janssen Groesbeek, Paul Jenkins, Robert A. Johnson, Simon Johnson, Peter Jungen, Anatole Kaletsky, Henry Kaufman, John Kay, Richard Koo, Louis Kuijs, Deepak Lal, William Lazonick, Robert Litan, Barry Lynn, Wolfgang Munchau, Dalia Marin, Felix Martin, Richard McGregor, Perry Mehrling, Zhu Min, Alan Murray, Daniel Neilson, Kevin O’Rourke, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Y.V. Reddy, William Rees, Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, Jeff Sachs, Andre Sapir, Orville Schell, Garry Schinasi, Mario Seccareccia, Andrew Sheng, Victor Shih, Robert Skidelsky, John Smithin, George Soros, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Alan Taylor, Gillian Tett, Niels Thygesen, Camilla Toulmin, Adair Turner, Leanne Ussher, Andrés Velasco, Paul Volcker, Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, Martin Wolf, Yu Yongding, Steve Ziliak.

When you ahve reached the stage where Ken Rogoff and Niall Ferguson are leaders of the Sinister Global Conspiracy So Immense, you have left reality so far behind that it would not be funny--but for the fact that it is utterly hilarious...