In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
Paul Solman: When in Pittsburgh last week for the G-20 meetings, we interviewed Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, 23 years after our first interview with him. In all these years, Sachs has been a champion of both the verities of market economics -- printing too much money causes inflation; privatization is the only alternative to a command economy -- and the hardships markets can visit upon the poor. As director of the Earth Institute at Columbia and head of the Millennium Project, Sachs has put his career where his mouth is and, as a result, is often plaintive about the world's disadvantaged, and the short shrift they so often receive.
It was surprising, then, to hear him on Friday as upbeat with respect to world economic cooperation as he was, there on the convention center terrace, overlooking several of Pittsburgh's innumerable bridges. An almost unedited version of the interview is posted here for your viewing pleasure.