Dinner With Prize-Winning Critics

Reader C.K. asks what I think about Barack Obama’s dinner with Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz.

I think it’s a good thing. It’s important for a President to try to get in touch with people who are outside his immediate circle of go-to advisers. That said, on the controversial question of the administration’s banking policy at this point the die is basically cast. The administration has hit on what it thinks is a reasonable satisficing solution and they believe the economy is starting to turn around. Critics respond that having taken more forceful action in the past would have been better, but to a large extent the water is now under the bridge. What’s more, it’s very likely that a few months hence we’ll start seeing slightly positive GDP growth and continued weakness in the labor market and that both sides in the Great Democratic Party Banking Family Feud will view that data as vindication for their position. So I don’t expect anything enormously concrete will emerge from this, but it’s good to see an administration trying get some input from a variety of directions rather than adopting a bunker mentality.