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In fact, today’s economic troubles are not simply the result of inadequate demand but the result, equally, of a distorted supply side. For decades before the financial crisis in 2008, advanced economies were losing their ability to grow by making useful things. But they needed to somehow replace the jobs that had been lost to technology and foreign competition and to pay for the pensions and health care of their aging populations. So in an effort to pump up growth, governments spent more than they could afford and promoted easy credit to get households to do the same. The growth that these countries engineered, with its dependence on borrowing, proved unsustainable.
Paul Krugman and Robin Wells caricature my recent book Fault Lines in an article in The New York Review of Books. The article, and their criticism, however, do have a lot to say about Krugman’s policy views (for simplicity, I will say “Krugman” and “he” instead of “Krugman and Wells” and “they”), which I have disagreed with in the past. Rather than focus on the innuendo about my motives and beliefs in the review, let me focus on differences of substance. I will return to why I believe Krugman writes the way he does only at the end. Read More »
Raghuram Rajan, a University of Chicago economics professor and former chief economist of the IMF, has been popping up on the blog a lot lately – answering our questions about his new book Fault Lines and weighing in on the financial reform bill. Now he’s back with a guest post, clarifying and expanding his views on the Federal Reserve’s ultra-low interest rate policy. Read More »
Last month, roughly two years into a global financial maelstrom, the U.S. Congress passed a financial-reform bill. It was more than 2,300 pages long, addressing everything from derivatives to consumer financial products to oversized banks. We asked a few clever people a simple question. Read More »
Volcker thinks “[w]e could have done better” on the reform bill. Read More »
Rajan on the crisis. Read More »
University of Chicago Professors Douglas Diamond and Anil Kashyap, whose description of the causes of the financial crisis is the most widely circulated post ever to appear on this blog, are back to explain the Geithner Plan in simple-to-understand terms, along with what they do and don’t like about it. For this post, they’ve also […] Read More »