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Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Little Panic Would be Good

Kenneth Rogoff:

In the short term, it is important that monetary policy in the US and Europe vigilantly fight Japanese-style deflation, which would only exacerbate debt problems by lowering incomes relative to debts. In fact,... it would be far better to have two or three years of mildly elevated inflation, deflating debts across the board, especially if the political, legal, and regulatory systems remain somewhat paralyzed in achieving the necessary write-downs.
With credit markets impaired, further quantitative easing may still be needed. As for fiscal policy, it is already in high gear and needs gradual tightening over several years, lest already troubling government-debt levels deteriorate even faster. Those who believe – often with quasi-religious conviction – that we need even more Keynesian fiscal stimulus, and should ignore government debt, seem to me to be panicking.

Since we're giving opinions -- let's call them "seems to me-isms" -- rather analysis, let me give mine:

Those who believe – often with quasi-religious neoclassical conviction – that no further  Keynesian fiscal stimulus is needed, and that government debt cannot be ignored, seem to me to be insensitive to the needs of the millions of unemployed, and at odds with the available evidence.
As for the snide remark about "panicking," for those who are truly panicking due to the struggles they face finding a job, paying the bills, and so on, some urgency from policymakers would be much appreciated.

    Posted by on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 02:07 AM in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (73)


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