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The Rise of the Economists

Barry Ritholtz

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Out of the destruction of the postwar economies, came the rise of the economists. This is the tale that journalist Binyamin Appelbaum, this week's guest on Masters in Business, chronicles in his new book, "The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society."

First in the U.S., then around the world, economists created new ideas about deficits, monetary and fiscal policy, trade, government spending and deregulation. Their influence could be seen as well in the rise of corporations that wielded enormous power with very little accountability. Appelbaum gives credit for this to economist Milton Friedman, who he said had a greater influence on 20th-century American life than any economist of his generation.Appelbaum is the lead business and economics writer for the New York Times editorial board. He was part of a team at the Charlotte Observer that in 2007 examined the high rate of housing foreclosures and questionable sales practices during the subprime mortgage crisis. The reporting won a Gerald Loeb award, a George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in public service.

His favorite books are here; a transcript is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Next week, we speak with Fran Kinniry,  global head of portfolio construction at Vanguard.

To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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