Arthur J. Rolnick (Director of Research at the Minneapolis Fed, 1985-2010) recently interviewed Thomas J.Sargent on a range of issues, including the criticisms levelled at modern macroeconomic theory. Here is the opening bit, which I found rather amusing:
Modern macroeconomics under attack
Rolnick: You have devoted your professional life to helping construct and teach modern macroeconomics. After the financial crisis that started in 2007, modern macro has been widely attacked as deficient and wrongheaded.
Sargent: Oh. By whom?
Rolnick: For example, by Paul Krugman in the New York Times and Lord Robert Skidelsky in the Economist and elsewhere. You were a visiting professor at Princeton in the spring of 2009. Along with Alan Blinder, Nobuhiro Kiyotaki and Chris Sims, you must have discussed these criticisms with Krugman at the Princeton macro seminar.
Sargent: Yes, I was at Princeton then and attended the macro seminar every week. Nobu, Chris, Alan and others also attended. There were interesting discussions of many aspects of the financial crisis. But the sense was surely not that modern macro needed to be reconstructed. On the contrary, seminar participants were in the business of using the tools of modern macro, especially rational expectations theorizing, to shed light on the financial crisis.
Rolnick: What was Paul Krugman’s opinion about those Princeton macro seminar presentations that advocated modern macro?
Sargent: He did not attend the macro seminar at Princeton when I was there.
The entire interview is available here.