The Many Reinventions of Jeffrey Sachs

“Jeff Sachs is like the March Hare in Alice in
Wonderland, moving from cup to cup.  He can never return to any country that he advised, since they all hate him. 
It happened in Latin America, in Slovenia, in Poland, a few of the Baltic States, and it was the same in Russia.  They maintain that he was of no help and that his advice was wrong.  He is a bright and brilliant man and I like him very much, but his public campaign has nothing to do with what he was actually doing.  Just nothing.”

—Leonid Grigoriev

Jeffrey D. Sachs, the peripatetic “world-renowned economist” who, for over three decades, has been called upon by leftist billionaires, governments, and international organizations to reshape the economies of entire countries and regions, is both the luckiest and the unluckiest of men.

In his own estimation, the unintended consequences that have dogged his long career of advising distressed areas—from Bolivia to Eastern Europe to Russia to Africa—can be laid at the feet of his critics and faint-hearted foreign collaborators along with a shortsighted American foreign-policy community and the institutional failings of a tight-fisted and purblind IMF.

Sachs, a devoted disciple of John Maynard Keynes, got his start as a self-advertised free-market transition...

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