Why didn't Obama hire Stiglitz ?
Someone asked this question (someone very very young, terrifyingly smart and progressive so I guess Klein or Yglesias). My reply is that Stiglitz is not a team player. The proof is here.
Stiglitz is terrifyingly smart and progressive. So what's the problem ? First it is politically costly to be associated with him in any way, because he is antipatico (this is hard to translate -- unlikable is a bit weak and loathsome is a bit strong).
"For those of us who always claimed some connection to the Keynesian tradition, this is a moment of triumph"
Did he write that ? Did he suggest that he feels great, because the unregulated market has caused huge suffering ? Does he feel great, because the unregulated makert has caused huge suffering ?
Damned if I know, but I can answer the following question easily.
Do you want to be associated in any way with someone whose worst enemy can ask such questions without feeling ridiculous ?
Answer is "Professor Stiglitz, I really think that you can contribute more to human well being as an academic. For one thing you have done great things as an academic already. For another, I don't want anyone to hold me responsible for anything you say."
Next "The misguided policies that resulted – pushed by, among others, some members of President-elect Barack Obama's economic team – had earlier inflicted enormous costs on developing countries."
Or, in other words
"yep, I'm still settling decade old scores. Wasn't it shocking how slowly East Asian countries recovered in 1997 ? My don't we just shake our heads in wonder at what the hell happened to Korea and Taiwan. Also, obviously, President Obama doesn't give a damn about Indonesia. He probably has no idea where it is and certainly has no friends or half sisters who are Indonesian. In any case the main point is that I am way better than Larry Summers.
Look smart young guy: YOu want Stiglitz outside of the tent pissing in not inside of the tent pissing in. He is a genius and his aim is excellent, but you can hope that if he is outside the tent he will miss he opening.
update: looks like I picked the wrong week to try to guess which smart young blogger I disagree with.