Frustrated by the ivory tower of academic economics and convinced that economics is far too important to leave people in the dark, Paul Krugman started writing short articles aiming to make the issues accessible for non-specialists and to burst the nonsensical balloons being floated by the left and right alike. This collection brings together a range of articles written between autumn 1995 and summer 1997, and makes them accessible for the European reader who does not have daily access to the publications they originally appeared in - from the on-line magazine "Slate" to the "Washington Monthly". Some have not been published before. The dispatches are grouped together in six parts, and range from the situation in America to global issues, and from economists and their stories to politicians and theirs. Krugman analyzes why the Republican revolution, which seemed unstoppable at the beginning of 1995, ground to a halt within a year. He strutinizes Lionel Jospin's grand employment promises. He looks at the moral implications of fresh vegetables being flown into London from Zimbabwe, and he reflects on the situation in China and the problems in Japan.