George Osborne gets a slap in the face from Paul Krugman


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The Independent Online

Well, metaphorically at least. Smart, wasn't it, of the New York Times to give a prize columnar slot to an economist who writes sparkling prose and would go on to win (in 2008) the Nobel Prize for Economics. Today, in a particularly self-satisfied piece, Paul Krugman gives the four reasons why those who champion austerity politics have been proven wrong.

Naturally we'll leave you to discover those four reasons for yourself. But it's worth drawing your attention to a particularly strong bit of ire that Krugman reserves for Britain's economy. Remember that he wrote his column before this morning's worse-than-expected GDP figures:

"Consider, in particular, the case of Britain. In 2010, when the new government of Prime Minister David Cameron turned to austerity policies, it received fulsome praise from many people on this side of the Atlantic. For example, the late David Broder urged President Obama to “do a Cameron”; he particularly commended Mr. Cameron for “brushing aside the warnings of economists that the sudden, severe medicine could cut short Britain’s economic recovery and throw the nation back into recession.”

"Sure enough, the sudden, severe medicine cut short Britain’s economic recovery, and threw the nation back into recession."

Can anyone reasonably doubt that, on this score, Krugman has been vindicated? We'd put a call in to George Osborne's office - but then some other people beat us to it.