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One economist who will not be on the short list to replace Greenspan

Morgan Reynolds was chief economist for the Department of Labor in the first term of the George W. Bush administration. He was in the economics department at Texas A&M (now retired), and he has published in the top economics journals like JPE, AER, and QJE.

Now he’s traveling a slightly different road:

From a United Press International report in the Washington Times:

Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush’s first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is “bogus” and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7.

You can find Morgan Reynolds’ original article here. In case you think his quote above was taken out of context, here is how his own written version of it begins:

To explain the unanticipated free-fall collapses of the twin towers at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, mainstream experts (also see The American Professional Constructor, October 2004, pp. 12-18) offer a three-stage argument: 1) an airplane impact weakened each structure, 2) an intense fire thermally weakened structural components that may have suffered damage to fireproofing materials, causing buckling failures, which, in turn, 3) allowed the upper floors to pancake onto the floors below.

Many will nod their head, OK, that does it and go back to watching the NBA finals or whatever, but I find this theory just about as satisfying as the fantastic conspiracy theory that “19 young Arabs acting at the behest of Islamist extremists headquartered in distant Afghanistan” caused 9/11.

Perhaps Morgan Reynolds’ next project will be to demonstrate that the Bush Administration is also responsible for last December’s tsunami.

Many economists I know have complained that President Bush has largely ignored the advice of economists in his administration. Now maybe we know why.

(Thanks to Jon Hilsenrath for sending me this link.)