No laughing matter.

Author:Chandra, Rav
Position:Economists and wisdom - Letter to the editor

I do not know where African Business editor Anver Versi got the idea that Nobel economics laureat Joseph Stiglitz has earned "the enviable reputation of great wisdom by saying very little" (African Business, August/September 2009 editorial, 'Statistics and other lies'). The truth is, his past employers at the World Bank - where he served for a spell as chief economist before quitting his post in exasperation - would argue quite the opposite. He said far too much!

Stiglitz deserves to be feted for the way he has exposed the fundamental flaws of the economic system that arch-monetarist economist Milton Friedman and the Washington Consensus imposed on Africa. Perhaps the difference between Landman and Stiglitz is simply this: Stiglitz views the immense harm those policies brought about as no laughing matter.


Rav Chandra,

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I beg to differ - Stiglitz was among the first in the West to argue that the Bretton Woods models were unworkable but he was not the first 'to expose the...

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