Greg Mankiw is an ultra-fancy economics professor at Harvard who teaches a famous introductory class there. Here’s what he wrote on his blog yesterday:
Today is the first day of Harvard’s academic year, and the first day of a new year of ec 10. I will give the introductory lecture at noon.
I would like to thank all my friends on Wall Street for doing so much to spark interest in economic issues. You have gone beyond the call of duty, and your timing could not have been better.
Ha ha ha! That’s quite droll!
But here’s what Professor Mankiw is too funny to mention: he was Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003-2005, during some of the prime years of the housing bubble’s inflation. Thus there are probably fewer than five people on earth who had more power to get things under control. Yet not only did Mankiw do nothing whatsoever, when I interviewed him for an article in 2005 (after he left the White House and returned to Harvard), he become extremely agitated at the notion that a housing bubble even existed.
Hence, he should get a large, large chunk of the credit for managing to “spark interest in economic issues.” I guess he’s just too modest to bring it up!
ALSO: I’m going to go out on a limb and guess there’s a connection between Mankiw’s White House performance on the housing bubble and the impressive number of “friends on Wall Street” he possesses.
AND: Besides being so funny, Mankiw is a hero to the oppressed.