So Paul Krugman and I are chatting . . .


Yesterday’s appearance did not produce a funny story. Today, however, was much more amusing. (Please excuse the shameless name dropping, but it’s what makes the tale so amusing).

I shot a brief segment for Wall $treet Week on the Magazine Cover Indicator. They saw the Contrary Indicators 2000 – 2003 Bear piece, and wanted to discuss what the various signals meant, and how to apply them.

It will run on Friday at 8:30 on PBS. We shot over 20 minutes of tape, of which they will prolly use 15 seconds . . .

So I take off the make up, gather my briefcase and papers, and head out the door — which is locked, I can’t get it open, eventually figure out you have to hit the buzzer.

At the same time, someone is trying to “buzz” in. We kinda collide, I excuse myself, and start heading out the door . . . when suddenly, something dawns on me.

“Um . . . Paul Krugman?” I ask.

“Yes. . . ”

I’m flustered, but somehow manage to gather my wits and say: “Funny, I just quoted you on Wall $treet Week about Magazine Covers — “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first put on the cover of Business Week.”

“Ahh, Enron.”

I’m kinda discombobulated, and given my general lack of social graces, I momentarily forget to introduce myself, but — surprisingly — I avoid an awkward moment. Recovering, I say “Hi, I’m Barry Ritholtz. A pleasure to meet you . . .” I hand him a business card, and he says “Oh yes, I’ve received email from you.” He must get a million emails a day, so I suspect he is merely being polite, for which I am terribly grateful.

The odd thing is, I almost didn’t recognize him as I literally ran into him. He looks quite professorial — kinda rumpled, smallish, a bit disheveled, very unassuming. Seems like a nice guy.

Greg Mankiw last night, Paul Krugman today, Nobel prize winner last month — I’m thinking about changing the catchphrase of this blog.

How’s this sound: “Mediocrity Within Spitting Distance of Greatness” ?

Any thoughts?

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. MattS commented on Mar 10

    Mankiw might be great, but he’s a shill.

    You might be mediocre (I disagree), but you have intellectual integrity.

  2. Fred Boness commented on Mar 10

    If you are in spitting distance, spit.

  3. Jorge Naya commented on Mar 11

    1. So what do the covers say?
    2. Not nice to call Krugman mediocre.

  4. The Observer commented on Mar 11

    Don’t be so modest. I look forward to your comments from Maxim greatly. They are both helpful and interesting. Keep up the good work.

  5. The Big Picture commented on Sep 21

    Look Who’s Blogging: Paul Krugman

    Last year, I noted that the Times had started blogging (MSM Blogging Review: NYT Starts Blogging, too). A few months later, we discussed that the Times’ offerings had ballooned to over 30 blogs (Its Official: The NYT Has Gone Blog Crazy!). This week, t…

  6. jonah commented on Sep 21

    I stopped reading the New York Times when they let Krugman in. Him and Stiglitz are examples of how bias can corrupt even intelligent people. They are respectable economists, but when they start talking politics is when you realize how foolish they really are. Let that be a caveat to economists out there, stay in your domain!

  7. bobh commented on Sep 21


    You must be thinking of a different Krugman. This Krugman is the guy who warned America politley for eight years not to go down the toilet it was climbing into.

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