In his article released on March 21 2018 – Economics failed us before the global crisis – Martin Wolf the economics editor of The Financial Times expressed some misgivings about macroeconomics.
Economics is, like medicine (and unlike, say, cosmology), a practical discipline. Its goal is to make the world a better place. This is particularly true of macroeconomics, which was invented by John Maynard Keynes in response to the Great Depression. The tests of this discipline are whether its adepts understand what might go wrong in the economy and how to put it right. When the financial crisis that hit in 2007 caught the profession almost completely unawares, it failed the first of these tests. It did better on the second. Nevertheless, it needs rebuilding.
Martin Wolf argues that a situation could emerge when the economy might end up in self-reinforcing bad states. In this possibility, it is vital to respond to crises forcefully.
It seems that regardless of our understanding of the key causes behind the crises authorities should always administer strong fiscal and monetary policies holds Martin Wolf. On this way of thinking, strong fiscal and monetary policies somehow will fix things.
A big question is not only whether we know how to respond to a crisis, but whether we did so. In his contribution, the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argues, to my mind persuasively, that the basic Keynesian remedies — a strong fiscal and monetary response — remain right.
Whilst agreeing with Krugman, Martin Wolf holds the view that, we remain ignorant to how economy works. Having expressed this, curiously Martin Wolf still holds the view that Keynesian policies could help during an economic crisis.
For Martin Wolf as for most mainstream economists the Keynesian remedy is always viewed with positive benefits- if in doubt just push more money and boost government spending to resolve any possible economic crisis. It did not occur to our writer that without understanding the causes of a crisis, administering Keynesian remedies could make things much worse.
The proponents for strong government outlays and easy money policy when the economy falls into a crisis hold that stronger outlays by the government coupled with increases in money supply will strengthen monetary flow and this in turn will strengthen the economy. What is the reason behind this way of thinking?
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