James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

The ‘mirage’ economic recovery

December 15, 2009

Gallup’s chief economist, Dennis Jacobe:

We’ve just gone through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and economies don’t recover from that kind of thing overnight.

What led to this artificiality was that governments and monetary institutions around the world, led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, took unprecedented actions to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis.  … In addition, the United States has undertaken an unprecedented amount of spending, ranging from TARP [the Troubled Asset Relief Program] and the auto industry bailout to the stimulus program and expansion of the social safety net. As a result, future federal budget deficits are also going to be unprecedented for years to come. Combined, these fiscal and monetary policies have led to sharp declines in the value of the dollar, a surge in commodity prices, and even serious questions about the role of the dollar in the global economy.

All of this seems to have worked in the short term, and the world economy is much better off in terms of its financial stability than it was a year ago.  … A lot of what we’re currently seeing is more of a mirage than reality — and people should be wary of the false signals that may have come from these emergency actions. In a sense, we’ve put the global economy on “steroids” — and we know there will be long-run consequences — but even more importantly, we know these “steroids” are creating distortions in our normal measures of global economic well-being.

Comments

The main page of the blog does not set off block quotes, which is kind of irritating. Doesn’t anyone at Reuters know how to design a weblog?

Posted by Jack Stephens | Report as abusive
 

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