Paul Krugman: The Very Confident Jean-Claude Trichet


I’m somewhat belatedly getting to Jean-Claude Trichet’s op-ed in the Times; now that I have, I find myself puzzled. What, exactly, was his purpose in writing this? For that matter, what, exactly, did it say? I live and breathe this stuff, and I can’t get much of a message here except “trust us, we know what we’re doing”.

That said, I guess it’s an endorsement of austerity policies, which, he says, are working:

Confidence is returning and paving the way for growth and job creation.

And he explains why: austerity is good

Not because it is an elementary recommendation to care for your sons and daughter and not overburden them, but because it is good for confidence, consumption and investment today.

Oh, wait — the second quote there comes from remarks Trichet made in September 2010. Just as a reminder of how prescient these remarks proved:

I don’t especially mean to pick on Trichet, whom I actually like as a person. But consider this another demonstration that nothing, absolutely nothing, will shake the conviction that austerity was and is the right policy.

The Very Confident Jean-Claude Trichet –

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