It seems the movie is less than flattering about the role some economists have played. Krugman comments:
OK, about the economist-bashing: I thought it was basically fair. There aren’t, I think, all that many cases when economists are literally paid to offer a specific opinion — although Greenspan’s defense of Keating qualifies. But the movie didn’t say there are. What it suggested, instead, was a kind of soft corruption: you get paid a lot of money by the financial industry, you get put on boards, but only if you don’t rock the boat too much. Besides, you hang out with these people, and get assimilated by the financial Borg. I think all of that is very true.I like that idea of "soft corruption". Is this what goes on in the textbook market too? A successful author is paid a lot of money, "but only if you don't rock the boat too much". In contrast to his kick-ass columns for the Times and his blog, Paul Krugman's own introductory text doesn't rock the boat any more than average. (I haven't seen the second US edition, but I'd be shocked if it gave any reader even a twinge of seasickness.)
His second point -- the intellectual assimilation that takes place from hanging out with people -- is an almost inevitable by-product of our make-up as social animals. A few resist it, but not many. I certainly didn't when I was an economics student...