Look at the fur fly over at The New York Times! Bearded, outspoken liberal Times columnist and Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman straight up went to the mat today against babyfaced financial-news wunderkind Andrew Ross Sorkin.
In a scolding column titled “Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology,” Krugman vehemently denied Sorkin’s assertion that he had called for a nationalization of the U.S. banking system (this approach is also known as the “Swedish model,” which frankly doesn’t sound nearly as ugly as Krugman makes it out to be). Says Krugman:
I certainly never said anything like that … First of all, I never called for â€œnationalizing the entire banking systemâ€ — I wanted the government to take temporary full ownership of a few weak banks, mainly Citigroup and possibly B of A. I defy Sorkin to find any examples of me calling for a total takeover.
[...] If you want to say that the advocates of nationalization were excessively pessimistic about the prospects for a light-touch bank strategy, fine. But caricaturing their position, making it sound far more extreme than it actually was, is definitely not OK.
So far, the flap hasn’t spilled out onto Twitter (Krugman tweeted the headline to the story, and Sorkin hasn’t updated his tweets since March 30). At least for now, this Internet kerfuffle lacks the explosive power of this year’s other major battles — Blodget v. Salmon or Gawker v. Finke. We’ll update should the situation escalate.