Larry Summers’ speech at the IMF has provoked a flurry of responses from New Keynesian economists that imply that Summers has located the “Holy Grail of Macroeconomics” – and that it was a poisoned chalice.
“Secular stagnation”, Summers suggested, was the real explanation for the continuing slump, and it had been with us for long before this crisis began. Its visibility was obscured by the subprime bubble, but once that burst, it was evident.
So the crisis itself was a sideshow. The real story is about inadequate private sector demand, which may have existed for decades. Generating adequate demand in the future may require a permanent stimulus from the government – meaning both the Congress and the Fed.
Read the rest of this post here. (Health warning: contains substantial portions of irony. May exceed your daily allowance).