Economists from the Left and the Right Agree: Neither the U.S. Nor Europe Is Dealing With the Real Problem → Washingtons Blog
Economists from the Left and the Right Agree: Neither the U.S. Nor Europe Is Dealing With the Real Problem - Washingtons Blog

Monday, May 23, 2011

Economists from the Left and the Right Agree: Neither the U.S. Nor Europe Is Dealing With the Real Problem

Today, economists from both sides of the political spectrum said that no one in the U.S. or Europe are dealing with the real problems.

Niall Ferguson told Bloomberg that no one has the political will to deal with Greece, and so Europe might experience a crisis as big as the 2008 crash in the U.S.:

Paul Krugman argues that austerity has failed in Europe, but that the European Central Bank " "i[s] just not willing to face up to the failure of its fantasies" and to restructure Greek debt.

(In more Europe news, Moody's will issue a big credit warning on 14 of the UK's 18 biggest banks tomorrow).

And in the U.S., former Reagan head of the Office of Management and Budget - David Stockman - says that both Democrats and Republicans are now advocating for default in America, since Democrats won't compromise on spending and Republicans won't compromise on taxes. (Before Dems label Stockman as a radical anti-taxer, remember that he recently said that the Bush tax cuts were "the biggest fiscal mistake in history", and that extending them won't stimulate the economy)


  1. Sounds like Niall Ferguson and David Stockman are on the same page.

    And ... so am I.

    And ... in Washington's case -- the idea that the Republicans and Democrats are going to put aside their party politics and drive through real change is ... well ... not going to happen.

    We are going to have to unelect the lot of them to get rid of them.

    I am all for temporary increases in the ceiling all the way up to the election. I'd hate to see them kick this can down the road past the election.

  2. What is absurd about the above Repulican v Democrat quarrel is that aggregate demand becomes a political football. That is, people get kicked out of jobs and out of their homes because of a bunch of squabbling idiots in Washington. The question as to what the optimum level of demand is, is a technical question best decided by economists (not that they’re perfect, of course). In contrast, the decision as to what proportion of GDP is grabbed by government, and how that money is spent is a legitimate political decision, best left with politicians.

    In other words it’s not just monetary decisions that central banks (or some independent committee) should take. They should take aggregate fiscal decisions as well. At the moment, the US economy is effectively a car with two steering wheels, one controlled by a husband and the other by a wife in the middle of a marital breakdown.

  3. The bottom line is simple to fathom: not one politician on either side of the Atlantic has the kahunas to stand up to the banksters.

    After all, "dealing" with the "problem countries" in Europe all come down to the same end result; make the banks suffer for their bad bets.

    But the banks are blackmailing big time...with almost no ammo. Yet, pols are shaking in their boots.


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