We are all Austrians now (when it comes to economics)
Or so says Ed Yardeni, who puts the current economic situation in a philosophical perspective:
We are all Austrians now. Over the past few weeks, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York City, and London, I’ve run into more and more institutional investors whose economic and financial views either knowingly or unknowingly reflect the influence of the Austrian School of Economics. I am in Zurich today and Geneva tomorrow. … How do you know if you are an Austrian? Here is a simple test. Answer yes or no to the following question: “I believe that this will all end very badly.” If you agree, then you are probably worried that all the government policies that rescued us from a depression in 2008 and 2009 only postponed the coming wipe-out of debt and the collapse of asset prices–and will actually make the inevitable calamity even worse.
I share these concerns, but I believe that Globalization will save us from such an awful fate. The end of the Cold War marked the end of the greatest trade barrier of all times. The resulting proliferation of free trade liberated billions of people around the world from their lives of quiet desperation. Standards of living are rising rapidly, especially in emerging economies, as prosperity displaces subsistence. Previously immiserated people are less miserable. They are earning enough so that they can both save and have more discretionary income to improve their material well-being. In other words, Globalization is stimulating more growth in incomes, saving, and consumption. Such growth is the best antidote for the grim Austrian prescription of debt deflation.