Monday, March 7, 2011
Paul Krugman is glad that the IMF is spearheading an effort to rethink macroeconomic theory and praises Olivier Blanchard for leading the charge. Then he asks why Blanchard is being allowed to do this, and DSK gets some of the credit:
But then the question becomes, why is the IMF willing to let him speak up? Other international organizations, like the OECD, have been willing to throw all logic aside in order to be properly austerian;why not the Fund?Too bad Krugman doesn't have quite the public visibility in France that he has in the US. I can see the campaign posters now!
One answer is that Blanchard is who he is — a big gun in the field, someone the IMF needs more than he needs the IMF, who has the kind of independence that lets him speak his mind.
Another answer is that Strauss-Kahn runs the IMF, and — aside from being Blanchard’s compatriot — he’s a political force in his own right, to an extent unusual for the Fund, and one with moderately interventionist instincts.
The President has met again with Dominique de Villepin. Is it really that he suddenly values Villepin's advice on Libya, or is it perhaps the 7% of the vote that the Harris poll gives DDV in the first round, sinking Sarko's score below Marine Le Pen's? I suppose the parquet could drop its appeal as easily as it launched it.
If you really must refresh your memory about Jacques Chirac on the eve of his trial, if there is a trial, you can read this portrait of "the Lion at 78." The Lion? Oh, well. Memory sometimes magnifies, and the trial needs a little infusion of majesty if it is not to seem totally anticlimactic.