Skip to main content

Global Monetarism Strikes Back


Olivier Blanchard, the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced in a triumphalist tone that “earlier fears of a double-dip recession—which we did not share—have not materialized” and defended the need for “fiscal consolidation that is neither too fast, which could kill growth, nor too slow, which would kill credibility.” For Blanchard fiscal expansion has done its job, since “private demand has, for the most part, taken the baton.” The risks are associated to the higher prices of commodities and inflation. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has added to the IMF’s view that inflation is the main risk on an otherwise recovering world economy. In their recent Annual Report they argue that: “spread of inflation dangers from major emerging market economies to the advanced economies bolsters the conclusion that policy rates should rise globally.” That is, add monetary contraction to the policy mix.

Read the rest of the entry here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…