Jeffrey Sachs attacks Keynesian Policies, favors Hayekian Explanations

In the Financial Times:

“There are three more reasons to doubt the Keynesian view. First, the fiscal expansion has been mostly in the form of temporary tax cuts and transfer payments. Much of these were probably saved, not spent.

Second, the zero interest rate policy has a risk not acknowledged by the Fed: the creation of another bubble. The Fed has failed to appreciate that the 2008 bubble was partly caused by its own easy liquidity policies in the preceding six years. Friedrich Hayek was prescient: a surge of excessive liquidity can misdirect investments that lead to boom followed by bust.

Third, our real challenge was not a great depression, as the Keynesians argued, but deep structural change. Keynesians persuaded Washington it was stimulus or bust. This was questionable. There was indeed a brief depression risk in late 2008 and early 2009, but it resulted from the panic after the abrupt and maladroit closure of Lehman Brothers.

There is no going back to the pre-crisis economy, with or without stimulus. Unlike the Keynesian model that assumes a stable growth path hit by temporary shocks, our real challenge is that the growth path itself needs to be very different from even the recent past.”

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Contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith. — F. A. Hayek

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