Stockman Thanks Krugman for Boosting Book: D.C. Scene

David Stockman credits his harshest critic, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, for boosting sales of his new book, “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.”

Stockman, a former Michigan congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration, celebrated at last night’s book party at Qorvis Communications LLC headquarters in downtown Washington.

Krugman referred to Stockman in a New York Times blog post as a “cranky old man” for his book’s sharp criticism of the Federal Reserve and government spending, unleashing a flurry of debate.

“I owe him a commission, if I can find his address,” Stockman said, adding that the book soared on Amazon after the Krugman piece went viral.

Stockman called political parties “glorified concierges” for hooking politicians up with money. He characterized the book less as an indictment and more of “a diet book” to get Uncle Sam back in shape.

He said his detractors can use the 700-page tome as a “doorstop” if they find the content unpalatable.

(Stockman agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $7.2 million to settle allegations he misled investors at auto-parts maker Collins & Aikman Corp.)

Among his supporters at the reception was Diane Lim, the chief economist at Pew Charitable Trusts, who praised Stockman’s first book “The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.” “I read it when I was much younger,” she told a smiling Stockman.

First Edition

Stan Collender, a fellow author and Qorvis’s national director of financial communications, brought along his prized first edition of “Triumph” for Stockman to sign.

Also in the queue for a signing was Ali Ahmad, the communications adviser for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who told Stockman that the committee’s chairman, Darrell Issa, used quotations from Stockman’s writings for a letter he sent to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Stockman’s wife, Jennifer Blei Stockman, the president of the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said she took a break from book promoting to check out the Albrecht Durer exhibition at the National Gallery of Art earlier in the day.

King Play

On the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., former congressman Harold Ford, Sr., and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Arena Stage’s opening night of “The Mountaintop,” a play which reimagines King’s final night at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

Ford, who represented Memphis in Congress, recalled being with King just days before the April 4 shooting while former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele recounted being a child on a bus with his mother when he heard the news in Washington.

Arena held a VIP reception before the show and an after party with the cast and director.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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