I was looking forward to watching it but it disappointed. Here's Krugman:
"A bit of meta on my “debate” with Ron Paul; I think it’s a perfect illustration of a point I’ve thought about a lot, the uselessness of face-to-face debates."
"Think about it: you approach what is, in the end, a somewhat technical subject in a format in which no data can be presented, in which there’s no opportunity to check facts (everything Paul said about growth after World War II was wrong, but who will ever call him on it?). So people react based on their prejudices. If Ron Paul got on TV and said “Gah gah goo goo debasement! theft!” — which is a rough summary of what he actually did say — his supporters would say that he won the debate hands down; I don’t think my supporters are quite the same, but opinions may differ."
His post title gives you a good idea of his feelings about the whole process-debates are useless.
"The things I do for book sales. I debated, sort of, Ron Paul on Bloomberg.Video here. I thought we might have a discussion of why the runaway inflation he and his allies keep predicting keeps not happening. But no, he insisted (if I understood him correctly) that currency debasement and price controls destroyed the Roman Empire. I responded that I am not a defender of the economic policies of the Emperor Diocletian."
"Actually, though, appeals to what supposedly happened somewhere in the distant past are quite common on the goldbug side of economics. And it’s kind of telling."
"I mean, history is essential to economic analysis. You really do want to know, say, about the failure of Argentina’s convertibility law, of the effects of Chancellor Brüning’s dedication to the gold standard, and many other episodes."
"Somehow, though, people like Ron Paul don’t like to talk about events of the past century, for which we have reasonably good data; they like to talk about events in the dim mists of history, where we don’t really know what happened. And I think that’s no accident. Partly it’s the attempt of the autodidact to show off his esoteric knowledge; but it’s also the fact that because we don’t really know what happened — what really did go down during the Diocletian era? — you can project what you think should have happened onto the sketchy record, then claim vindication for whatever you want to believe."
Unfortunately the Diocletian line was the only real good line Krugman got off in the debate. This debate was pretty useless. I don't know what happened exactly. For the last 10 minutes or so Krugman wasn't even tthere-don't know if he left or what.
I don't know if they weren't letting Krugman talk or what-that does happen to liberals sometimes on CNBC and Bloomberg-this debate was Bloomberg. I did notice that Paul had the bad habit of interrupting Krugman. Paul would speak for a few minutes and then he would start interrupting Krugman about 10 seconds in.
There I think Krugman should have taken a harder line. That's where you say, "Now Congressman, I appreciate this opportunity to share views here with you but I didn't interrupt you."
Also Bloomberg would put up charts to back up what Paul said. I'm disappointed as it was the opportunity to fight back against the hard money and austerity crowd. Krugman for whatever reason wasn't able to get it done.
Paul's arguments certainly weren't all that powerful. One thing I would have pushed back on is his claim that we have had 98% inflation since 1913. What about the fact that prior to 1913 we had a recession one out of every two years in the previous 40 years of the classical gold standard era? Or bank runs every 3 years.