Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"The Great Unraveling," by Thomas L. Friedman. As Borrowed From Paul Krugman.

Careful readers may have noticed the uncredited homage on the Times op-ed page today, in which Thomas L. Friedman's column about the American banking crisis came with the curiously familiar title, "The Great Unraveling."

That, of course, is the title of a 2003 bestseller by Friedman's Times colleague, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

Times columnists typically write their own headlines for their columns. So was this just a case of a forgetful Friedman thinking he'd come up with a winner on his own, or was it an homage to his colleague's superior titling skills? Either way, it's doubtful Krugman will pay Friedman back in kind by copping that 1999 Friedman classic, "The Lexus and the Olive Tree."

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