Paul Greenberg

This does not mean that Professor Krugman's lamentations are without their uses. While not printing them all, we do save the most depressing for those times when the economy seems to need a real boost. What with all the talk of recession in the air, the stock market skidding, the Fed cutting its interest rate like mad, the president and Congress hurrying to do something even if it's wrong, the time had come to roll out the ultimate weapon: a Paul Krugman column. Maybe two in succession. Desperate times required desperate measures.

Sure enough, the Dow promptly proceeded to rise more than 600 points from its morning nadir Wednesday to close some 300 points higher for the day, or up 2.5 percent. It was the biggest swing in a single day's trading since 2002. Once again the professor had worked his magic.

Who knows if it'll take? Or should? There may be worse things than an overdue recession of short duration - like cures that only inflate the dollar instead of strengthening the economy, and could lead to a return of Carter Era stagflation.

But there's little doubt that Paul Krugman's voodoo still works, if not in the way intended. This guy may be the greatest prophet since Balaam. Every curse he utters has a way of turning into a blessing.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.