Paul Krugman
(Image: WikiCommons)

Tariff walls are going up. Trade wars are back. It is the bad old days all over again. How did we get here? It is timely to check in with elite thinking on the status of global trade. To that end your correspondent went -- along with hundreds of eager others -- to a lecture delivered by Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman at Melbourne University on Tuesday night.

The topic was “Globalisation: what did we get wrong?”. Krugman opened by admitting mainstream trade theorists completely overlooked the way trade would cause such anger and hopelessness in parts of the US. He said the global trading regime might possibly face a “major crack-up” under Trump.