The Rise of the Economists

Friday, 18 October, 2019 - 09:30 Issue Number [14934]

Out of the destruction of the postwar economies, came the rise of the economists. This is the tale that journalist Binyamin Appelbaum, this week's guest on Masters in Business, chronicles in his new book, "The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society."

First in the US, then around the world, economists created new ideas about deficits, monetary and fiscal policy, trade, government spending, and deregulation. Their influence could be seen as well in the rise of corporations that wielded enormous power with very little accountability. Appelbaum gives credit for this to economist Milton Friedman, who he said had a greater influence on 20th-century American life than any economist of his generation.

Appelbaum is the lead business and economics writer for the New York Times editorial board. He was part of a team at the Charlotte Observer that in 2007 examined the high rate of housing foreclosures and questionable sales practices during the subprime mortgage crisis. The reporting won a Gerald Loeb award, a George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in public service.

(Bloomberg)