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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 15. Paul Krugman

Father of figures.

Nobel Prize-winning economist, Princeton professor, New York Times columnist - Paul Krugman, with his 640,000-odd followers on Twitter, is the world's best-known economist. Over the past 12 months, with the west in thrall to austerity economics, Krugman has been in the vanguard of the Keynesian fightback. The professor is a scathing critic of the Obama administration's compromise over spending cuts. "Who got it right?" asked the Telegraph's Jeremy Warner in August. "Well I hate to pay him the compliment, but among others, Paul Krugman." His influence ranges beyond the dismal science: on 12 September Donald Rumsfeld said he had cancelled his subscription to the New York Times in response to a post from Krugman describing the 9/11 anniversary as "an occasion for shame".

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter