American economist, professor, author, and pundit, born in 1953 to traveling circus folk in Zipperhead, New York. He grew up traveling throughout the Northeast with his family in Lucifer Bleake's Traveling Darkside Carnival and Hell Circus, one of a number of evil carnivals that roamed the nation during the early to mid-20th century, seeking souls to enslave and fantasy writers to inspire. While his family tempted and devoured farmhands and schoolteachers, young Paul learned all the trades of the circus -- tent set-up and take-down, trapeze acrobatics, clown wrangling, barking, human cannonballing, international economics and trade theory, and beating the geek when he escaped from his cage. Coincidentally, that geek eventually grew up to become fellow New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Upon fleeing from the circus just prior to the big top being sucked into Hell in 1970, Krugman earned a dual bachelor's degree in economics and adventure archaeology from Yale University in 1974 and a Ph.D. in economics and surfing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977. While at MIT, he traveled to Portugal in 1976 with a group of other students to work at the Central Bank of Portugal. The nation had just been rocked by the Carnation Revolution, in which a bunch of violent florists dethroned the beloved King Earl IV and took over the country. Utilizing his studies in combat economics, Krugman defeated each of the florists in unarmed combat and was crowned Emperor Paul I. He ruled Portugal with an iron fist for several months until he announced his controversial "Let's Sacrifice Everyone in Portugal So I Can Get My Parents Released From Evil Circus Hell" plan. Realizing the political winds had changed, Krugman fled the nation and returned to his studies at MIT.

Krugman worked for Ronald Reagan's White House from 1982-83 as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, though he was quickly ejected after eating all the president's jelly beans and watering down his hair gel. From there, he taught at Yale, MIT, Berkeley, the Walla Walla School of Economics and Partyin' Down, and Clovis Community College before settling in at Princeton in 2000, where he teaches economics, international affairs, and kickpunching.

After writing a number of textbooks on economics, competitive racquetball, and the Monkees, Krugman began writing economics books for more general audiences, beginning with "The Age of Diminished Expectations" in 1990, followed by "The Great Unraviolioing," "The Conscience of a Circus Boy," "Pat Paul Krugman's Beard," and many more. His economics books were well-received enough to get him a gig writing columns for the New York Times. Actually, the folks running the NYT aren't all that smart, so Krugman got his job by giving the managing editor a note that read "THIS GUY IZ RITING 1 OV OUR COLLUMS NOW, PAY HIM SOME MUNNEY, SIGNED UR PUBLISHER (UR BOSS, DUMMY)" -- never let it be said that Paul Krugman doesn't know how to make his own opportunities.

In 2008, Krugman received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Science, which is sometimes called the Nobel Prize in Economics. He celebrated the award by catching a plane to Cyprus to gloat about the win to Christopher A. Pissarides, a professor of labor economics and macroeconomics. This led to an awkward situation just two years later when Pissarides received the Riksbank Prize himself. During the last meeting of Krugman and Pissarides, a four-block area of Washington, D.C. was destroyed in their battle, and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner suffered injuries that required him to undergo an emergency coccyx transplant.

Today, Krugman spends much of his time writing columns and blog posts for the NYTimes, appearing as a pundit on news programs, and trying to resurrect the evil carnival where he grew up. He also enjoys prank-calling Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer ("Is this Rumplestiltskin?"  "A WITCH TOLD YOU THAT! A WITCH TOLD YOU THAT!") and going across the hall to fellow NYT columnist David Brooks' office and whuppin' nine shades of shit out of him every time Brooks writes something stupid in his column.

Research: Personal interviews with Krugman, Pissarides, Brooks, and Lucifer Bleake



LieQuest 2013