The UK’s Prospect magazine – a genial, well-edited left-liberal take, by American standards, on politics – offers its list of the 25 leading public intellectuals offering commentary and sage advice in the financial crisis (in some cases action, too – Ben Bernanke is included). The list is full of worthy commentators, and I wouldn’t disinvite anyone off the list – but it does seem to me a tad skewed to one direction, and not just with the natural weight given to UK people and, err, log-rolling in our time, i.e., Prospect contributors.
I was going to frame the question, “Who would you add to this list if you want to make it just as brainy but a bit more ideologically balanced?” I’m not sure, however, looking back over it again, that I do think that everyone on this list should be here. So let’s reframe it. Twenty-five max. For every name you nominate to go on, name who you vote off the island.
Interruption: Changed my mind … season of peace on earth, good will toward men, etc., etc. No voting off the island. Add up to ten names of your own to these and say why; no criticism of the existing list.
(In another post, but not this one, I’ll ask how you would set up a reality show involving economists and desert islands and, no, not where they all get eaten by hungry baboons – or each other. Not this post.)
1. Simon Johnson. Professor at MIT, Peterson Institute fellow, former IMF chief economist, blogger, troublemaker and scourge of once-mighty banks—a worthy winner in 2009.
2. Avinash Persaud. Financial liquidity analyst, adviser to governments around the world, the man who has studied “herd” behaviour in finance, and now the man trying to stop it.
3. Adair Turner. An