1937, by Paul Krugman, in NY Times: Between Friday’s US job report and today’s economic news from the rest of the world, it’s hard to avoid the sense that things are going bust all over. Austerity is really biting, and the global economy is sputtering.
Plus, Europe! Spreads are widening out drastically, again — and where is the ECB? Still unwilling to concede that its move toward monetary tightening was exactly the wrong thing. And Munchau is right: if all of Europe is going to be engaged in fiscal austerity, with the ECB adding to the downdraft instead of fighting it, there’s no way the peripheral countries can make it.
What gets me, always, is that there is nothing mysterious about this crisis; nothing is happening that someone who read Paul Samuelson’s original, 1948 edition of his textbook would find puzzling. And old-fashioned textbook analysis tells us quite clearly what we should be doing about it. Hint: not austerity.
But much of the economics profession has turned its back on what it used to know, and policy makers have chosen to go with fantasies about expansionary contraction rather than macroeconomics 101.