“Incestuous mafias”

In “Insiders, outsiders and monetary policy”, Krugman “sets the scene”:

I ran into Olivier Blanchard over breakfast the other day. This isn’t as prosaic as it sounds, because we were both in Hong Kong. On the other hand, that in turn isn’t as much of a coincidence as it might seem, because there was a big financial conference here, and the set of economists who get invited to such things isn’t that extensive. More broadly, many of the people who either make monetary policy or comment on it from fairly influential perches are members of what you might call the 1970s Cambridge mafia. Olivier, Ben Bernanke, Ken Rogoff, Mario Draghi, and your truly all overlapped at MIT in the mid-70s; Larry Summers was at Harvard at the same time, taking courses at MIT; just about everyone was Stan Fischer’s student.

He says he´s not being pretentious:

I mention this not to claim membership of an exclusive club, but by way of noting that most of this group shares fairly similar views about how policy works.

The pretense, in fact, is so big that he misses the wider implication, which is that they are collectively responsible for the monetary policy that gave us the “long depression”!

Mafias are never good. As Krugman himself recognizes, they tend to be “incestuous”!

Incestuous MP

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