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2 YEARS

Paul Krugman Blasts 'Zombie' CNBC After 'Squawk Box' Interview Gone Awry

The economist and "New York Times" columnist was less than pleased with the direction of an interview he gave on the financial news network.

Paul Krugman - H 2012
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Don't expect Paul Krugman back on CNBC anytime soon.

The Princeton economist and New York Times columnist appeared on the cable financial news network on Wednesday, ostensibly to discuss his new book, End This Depression Now!. As it turns out, and much to his chagrin, it didn't work out that way.

"Instead it was one zombie idea after another — Europe is collapsing because of big government, health care is terribly rationed in France, we can save lots of money by denying Medicare to billionaires, on and on," Krugman wrote on his Times blog. "Among other things, people getting their news from sources like that are probably getting terrible advice about any kind of investment that depends on macroeconomics. But it’s amazing just how skewed the policy views are too."

Beyond their disagreement over whether Krugman is a unicorn, given his "astounding" economic and political beliefs, the economist and the hosts sparred over the coming Simpson-Bowles economic proposal and the cuts that it makes to the American social safety net. It soon fell into a debate over the fundamental, philosophical role of government intervention in the economy, and how European economies (such as Sweden) compare to the more purely capitalistic American financial scheme. And then, what the Founding Fathers thought about Medicare.

Krugman really likes Sweden, it turns out.

One thing he doesn't like: trips over the George Washington Bridge.

"All that and having to get to Englewood Cliffs, too," he snarked.