Every two years or so, the Spectator World issues a takedown of New York Times columnist and “expert” economist Paul Krugman, who has a notable history of being wrong about absolutely everything. Well, it seems it's that time of year again. The Australians are getting in on the Krugman-dunking game so why shouldn't we?
Here’s Cockburn's authoritative ranking of Paul Krugman's Greatest Hits.

Krugman denies the recession
Fresh from his New York Times opinion piece titled “I Was Wrong About Inflation,” Paul Krugman decided it was time to be wrong about the recession. On Brian Stelter's CNN show Reliable Sources, Krugman said, “I think...

Every two years or so, the Spectator World issuestakedown of New York Times columnist and “expert” economist Paul Krugman, who has a notable history of being wrong about absolutely everything. Well, it seems it’s that time of year again. The Australians are getting in on the Krugman-dunking game so why shouldn’t we?

Here’s Cockburn’s authoritative ranking of Paul Krugman’s Greatest Hits.

Krugman denies the recession

Fresh from his New York Times opinion piece titled “I Was Wrong About Inflation,” Paul Krugman decided it was time to be wrong about the recession. On Brian Stelter’s CNN show Reliable Sources, Krugman said, “I think that what’s happening now is that there’s been a kind of a negativity bias in coverage.” He blamed Americans thinking the economy isn’t so good on a “media failing.”

Krugman is convinced the euro is about to die

Though Cockburn is often annoyed by Europeans trying to comment on American politics, Krugman has gone and done the reverse. He said back in 2011:

Now, I don’t expect anything that bad [like a euro-fueled depression] to happen in 21st-century Europe. But there is a very wide gap between what the euro needs to survive and what European leaders are willing to do, or even talk about doing. And given that gap, it’s hard to find reasons for optimism.

As it stands now, the euro still exists and has value, despite the inflation that Europe is currently undergoing. And while the currency has struggled, none of Krugman dire predictions came to pass.

Any one of Krugman’s many Trump-era predictions

For the sake of simplicity, let’s go with the most obvious Krugman error about Donald Trump. In 2016, he proclaimed:

If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never. Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news.

Cue a pre-pandemic boom throughout 2018 and 2019, which saw the NASDAQ break records.

Krugman thinks Argentina is an economic “success story”

Way back in 2012, Argentina was suffering through a crisis, one that saw inflation and low economic growth — and Krugman was all for it. He wrote: “[Argentina is] a remarkable success story, one that arguably holds lessons for the euro zone” and “press coverage of Argentina is another one of those examples of how conventional wisdom can apparently make it impossible to get basic facts right.”

Only a few short months later, the Spanish newspaper La Nacion reported that Argentina’s GDP growth barely broke 1 percent and its inflation rate had broken 20 percent. Seems like Krugman has a different definition of “success” than the rest of us.

Krugman thinks this internet thing isn’t going anywhere

Cockburn had to do some digging to find the original article, but yes: Paul Krugman, then-professor of economics at MIT, wrote in 1998 the immortal words that his critics will never forget:

The growth of the Internet will slow drastically… By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.

While this is one of the greatest self-owns in history, Cockburn would like to point out that this man somehow still has a job over twenty years later. In which case, he needs to ask: how can one be an “expert” when one is wrong about everything?