The Guardian: In Praise of CEPR
November 14, 2008
Today's Guardian has an editorial entitled "In Praise Of ... the Center for Economic and Policy Research." It is hard to imagine higher praise for my employer. Here is the editorial in its entirety:
It may be billed as a summit to redraw the world economic order, but the Washington conference this weekend is bound to attract more than its fair share of compromise merchants and faint-hearts. Happily, a few grumps will be on hand to puncture complacencies and challenge the consensus. Among them are likely to be Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker, the driving forces behind the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Set up in 1999 with a total budget smaller than some other thinktanks' entertainment funds, CEPR has been a professional thorn in the side of orthodoxy. The dotcom bubble? It called that, while others frothed about a new economic era. The American housing bubble? Baker saw it coming in 2002, and even sold his family home. But if CEPR were only about spotting market trends, it might as well have gone into fund management. No, what makes the institution so valuable is that it is one of the few US thinktanks to analyse domestic and international economics from an avowedly progressive point of view. It helped successfully defend America's social security system against George Bush. It attacks the terrible policies of the International Monetary Fund with the fervour of a terrier (Weisbrot was at it again yesterday, telling reporters "the IMF needs to get out of the development game"). Every assault is made with economic rigour, so that even hard-boiled conservatives acknowledge their case. In a world of Goliaths, CEPR makes a rather effective David.