Thursday, August 19, 2010

Robert Skidelsky on Deficit Cutting

Robert Skidelsky is a very prominent economist, not least for his biographies of Keynes.  As you can imagine, he is more Keynesian in his leaning as an economist than some.  Right now, with the austerity of the Coalition and others the flavour of the moment, people are much less inclined towards Keynesian arguments.

The feel now is that we need to cut the deficit - this is the big problem, not the fact we're stuck in an anemic recovery from the recession of 2008-9.  Skidelsky has written this article in Project Syndicate on the issue, and I think the punchline has to be:
Events and common sense drove them to deficit finance in 2009-2010, but they have not abandoned the theory that depressions cannot happen, and that deficits are therefore always harmful (except in war!). So now they vie with each other in their haste to cut off the lifeline that they themselves extended.

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