Long-time critic of Bush admin. wins Nobel economic prize

Paul Krugman, the Princeton University scholar and New York Times columnist, won the Nobel economic prize Monday, also commenting on the global economic meltdown:

In contrast to his treatment of the Bush Administration and U.S. financial officials, Krugman has praised leaders in Britain for their response to the global financial crisis.

He commends British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling who "defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up."

Whereas U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rejected a "sort of temporary part-nationalization" involving governments giving financial institutions more money in return for a share of ownership, the British government "went straight to the heart of the problem ... with stunning speed."

Krugman said the major European economies have "in effect declared themselves ready to follow Britain's lead, injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into banks while guaranteeing their debts."

"And whaddya know," Krugman continued, "Mr. Paulson -- after arguably wasting several precious weeks -- has also reversed course, and now plans to buy equity stakes rather than bad mortgage securities."


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