NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Paul Krugman is taking on the self-appointed role of government bailout referee.
Somebody had to. How else would we know whether all this government largesse had done anything more than reward the incompetence of greedy bankers who bilked the economy until it went bust.
In this newly established position, Krugman is throwing up the touchdown signal and declaring victory for the government in averting a repeat of the Great Depression.
Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist, declared in his New York Times column that deficit spending is "actually a good thing right now" and that the trillion-dollar bailout of financial institutions such as AIG (AIG - Get Report), Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) -- coupled with stimulus spending -- helped prevent a recession from turning into a depression.Everyone can relax now. Banks can go back to lending, companies can go back to hiring and homeowners can go back to paying their mortgages. Well, not quite. Krugman goes on to say that the economy is in worse shape than anyone would have thought possible a short time ago and no improvement is in sight -- rather "things are getting worse more slowly." Don't be confused. Krugman, as the arbiter of Big Government policy success, is trying to show his impartiality by acknowledging that problems remain and the government response hasn't been perfect. His main point is that "the private sector is the problem, and government is the solution."