India’s infrastructure push could be envy of West

March 2, 2015

The government has pushed back its deficit reduction target in order to boost spending on roads, rail and power. New Delhi is now unmistakably pursuing a public investment-led growth strategy. It’s an opportunity that rich nations, which can borrow far more cheaply, are missing.

Germany’s economic miracle is past its peak

October 22, 2014

Germans are flirting with a recession that may usher in a new era of feeble growth in Europe’s largest economy. Many reasons for past performance are fading away, and misguided policies add extra burdens. Angela Merkel can still change tack before it’s too late.

Australia’s mistimed austerity could boomerang

May 12, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to raise taxes on top incomes and cut welfare. But tightening the government’s belt as the mining boom fades could prompt people to consume less, or borrow more against fickle housing wealth. With public debt low, a fiscal correction is untimely.

U.S. jobs rout should give fiscal hawks pause

July 8, 2011

The latest U.S. jobs report should give fiscal hawks pause. With economists expecting employment to rise by a modest 100,000 in June, the piddling increase of 18,000 proved a bitter blow for a country amid the throes of an austerity debate.

Timing of S&P U.S. downgrade couldn’t be better

August 7, 2011

The Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States couldn't have come at a much better time.

UK budget deserves lukewarm applause

March 22, 2012

George Osborne has trimmed income tax for the very rich and less well-off, and further eased the burden on corporations. But fiscal restraints mean that what the UK chancellor gives with one hand, he has to take with the other. Rebuilding Britain’s finances remains a long road.

Leap off fiscal cliff is bad option, but not worst

September 18, 2012

If U.S. politicians can’t compromise, higher taxes and spending cuts will kick in at year-end. That could bring recession. But it would also reset the political battle lines, improving the chances of a real fix. That’s better than Washington continually deferring tough decisions.

New Obama budget still leaves fiscal future fuzzy

April 13, 2011

President Barack Obama's budget do-over is certainly an upgrade. U.S. deficits a decade from now would be sharply lower than under his previous plan. But the approach is still full of accounting gimmicks, and ducks making necessary long-term fixes.

UK could raid the rich to boost a poor economy

November 30, 2012

George Osborne faces a big test in next week’s interim budget. The Chancellor must stimulate growth while tightening fiscally. His wiggle room is small. But he could serve both aims by grabbing back perks from the rich to fund tax cuts for the poor and a bit of capital spending.

U.S. tax deal puts austerity on back burner

December 7, 2010

Fiscal austerity may be coming to America, but it probably won't be arriving any time soon.