Below is an excerpt of a speech titled “A New Deal for the 21st Century: Less Entitlement, More Accountability.” I am scheduled to deliver the keynote talk today in Indianapolis at an event sponsored by the Indiana Leadership Forum.
Yesterday I participated in a “Living in the post-bubble world: What’s next?” event with Nouriel Roubini. The key take-away from the discussion is that the U.S. and global economies are headed into a new period of instability and competitive currency devaluations.
In the wake of Institutional Risk Analytics’ comment last week about the lack of ideas inside the Obama Administration for resolving the economic mess, President Obama suggested new tax credit and infrastructure spending. Neither of these ideas is likely to become real, however, since the Republicans are expecting to take control of at least one house of the Congress in two month’s time.
There are growing signs of unease bordering on desperation inside the Obama White House. Most of the O Team now understands that the real, private economy never got out of Dip Number One. The prospect of a permanent downward shift in “trend growth” to a lower track, and continued double digit unemployment, are driving a search for alternative measures that has even touched conservatives in the worlds of finance and economics.
The official version of reality in use this week at the White House says that the U.S. economy is recovering, slowly but surely, and unemployment is falling. The same perspective says that residential real estate markets are stabilizing and banks are starting to lend more aggressively. None of these statements are true, but there are quite a few people in the White House who believe them nonetheless.