Monday, January 26, 2009

A Taste of Things to Come

It was only a matter of time before a bien-pensant mainstream outlet like Le Monde began to wonder if sector-specific stimuli and differential interest rates might be decorated with the polemical label "protectionist" for political ends as yet unspecified. Marianne applauds. I merely note the development. As has so often been the case in this crisis, I find it hard to applaud any response with more than one hand. (This stands on its head the remark attributed to Harry Truman, who, after hearing one too many economists offer him "on the one hand ... but on the other hand" advice, is supposed to have wished for a one-handed economist. That's what you get in a depression.)

If you're into keeping score of which one-handed economists stand where on the fiscal stimulus question, here's a handy scorecard (but the scorekeeper is biased in favor of the cons and excludes prominent "pros" who he believes don't qualify as macroeconomists under his rather narrow definition; he also limits his sample to economists who teach in the US).

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