Dr. Joseph Stiglitz
By Ron Garmon
If you’re an anarchist, conspiracy theorist, pitchfork populist or member of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade, you must certainly reckon this week’s guest as one of the Secret Masters of the Universe. Joseph Stiglitz is professor of economics at Columbia, a 2001 Nobel laureate, and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank from 1997 to 2000. In other words, as an architect of globalization, he was the target of every rock thrown at the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. His criticisms of Bank polices proved apposite enough to eventually get him fired, but, for this scholar so memorably fascinated by asymmetry, subsequent status as one of the world’s most-quoted academics is curiously symmetrical.
Events of the past week have added a little prestige to bankerly wisdom, so Stiglitz was busy with the media while in town peddling his book The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (co-authored with Linda J. Bilmes). An imposing job of forensic accounting got up as political tract, the study, to paraphrase e.e. cummings, indicates a giant mound of s. we all must eat.
CityBeat: You’ve been asked this today I’m sure, but how much of this week’s ongoing economic disaster can be traced to the war?
Joseph Stiglitz: It’s clearly played an important role in two important respects. First, I think the war had a lot to do with the increase in the price of oil...
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