What Paul Krugman Has in Common with Kim Kardashian, Michael Jordan, and Scarlett Johansson


A big ass? Don't think so. Big package? Don't know, don't want to. Husky, sultry voice? Not remotely.

So what does Nobel laureate Paul Krugman have in common with celebrity "brand ambassadors?" Former Reason Editor in Chief Virginia Postrel writes that Krugtron the Invincible's $250,000-a-year gig with the City Univervsity of New York (CUNY) reflects

the talent market at work. Krugman has something valuable to offer, and it isn't his big brain. CUNY isn't paying for his Nobel-winning research on trade theory any more than J'Adore hired [Charlize] Theron because of her Oscar-winning turn as a serial killer in "Monster." They're buying his image and the attention he brings.

In short, they're hoping Krugman will do for them what Scarlett Johansson did for SodaStream: get their obscure brand into the public consciousness (preferably without the messy boycott stuff). And so far it's working.

Read more here.

Barely related: Remember a time when CUNY (then known as the City College of New York) was a national basketball powerhouse until the Beavers got caught up in a point-shaving scandal.