And indeed it was – Paul Krugman has won the Nobel Prize for Economics.
The citation says he got it “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity” – ie for new trade theory. Which certainly did pretty much light a bomb under the subject when he published it in the 1980s, but if this is all it’s for, it’s frankly surprising that Krugman got it all to himself; there were plenty of other people who might have felt they deserved a share.
I can’t help thinking that this is actually Krugman’s reward for being the public voice of mainstream sensible Keynesianism for the last fifteen years, starting with the use of the liquidity trap to explain the Japanese slump, going through his prediction of the Asian crises and onward to today. In which case, well done the Nobel[see note 1 again] committee – Krugman’s NYT column has been more use to the public standing of economists than more or less anything published in the journals.
And, of course, congratulations to Prof. Krugman himself, who might very well have believed that he’d done his professional status irreparable harm by taking such an aggressive line against the government of the day; he now gets the double pleasure of receiving the highest reward in economics, just as all of his detractors see their repuations ruined. There is probably some pithy epithet from Keynes or JK Galbraith to be inserted here on the general subject of honesty being the best politics, but I can’t think of it just at this instant.
Update: Hey, have you seen the new Guinness advert?
 blah blah blah Sveriges Riksbank. Nobody cares, you know.