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Posts Tagged ‘John Maynard Keynes’

EKONOMI | När vi nu närmar oss valet i USA kommer alltfler utvärderingar av Barack Obamas första tid i Vita huset.

“To win reelection, Barack Obama can’t just persuade voters the economy is improving. He has to make them believe he’s the reason why”, skriver Joshua Green och Peter Coy i en längre analys i Bloomberg Businessweek.

He can make a strong case that he’s gotten some big things right. His administration halted the worst downturn since the Great Depression and rescued the financial sector with a plan that drew on private, rather than public, funds to recapitalize ailing banks. Despite the best efforts of an intractable Congress, he kept the government from shutting down or defaulting on its debt, which bought the economy time to heal.

But Obama and his advisers also failed to recognize the shape and scope of the crisis and hesitated to push for new jobs programs once they did.

[…]

Unlike Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, Obama isn’t identified with a clear economic philosophy. During his presidency, he’s advocated spending more money to create jobs, cutting the deficit, and investing for the long term—sometimes all at once. “President Obama’s economic approach is deeply pragmatic,” says his former adviser, Lawrence Summers. Others are less generous. “I can’t infer a theory,” says Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean and former economic adviser to Bush. “I’ve watched the president for a long time, and he’s very smart, but he doesn’t have a policy rudder,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office in the Bush years and advised Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

[…]

Did his actions hasten the recovery, or prolong the slump? His aides argue that things could have been worse; but could they have been appreciably better? And what exactly guides Obama’s decisions?

[…]

Obama often points out that he’s had to contend with the gravest financial crisis of any president since Franklin Roosevelt. One difference, though, is that Roosevelt consistently took up sweeping new policies if he thought they could help, even risky or unproven ones.

[…]

Obama’s major economic policy decisions were guided by a much different spirit, a cautious, results-oriented pragmatism that is the heart of Obamanomics. Like John Maynard Keynes, Obama believes government can and should act to alleviate downturns with higher spending and tax cuts. But he’s disinclined to challenge political constraints, settling for what he’s able to get.

[…]

His caution is a striking contrast to candidate Obama, who seemed to embody radical change. As president, he’s steered an imperfect course that has nonetheless brought the U.S. to a position of economic stability and modest growth.

[…]

The choices Obama made helped bring about this result, even though he had help from the Fed, and even though they don’t quite explain the recent strength of the recovery. But the business cycle operates by a logic all its own. It cursed Herbert Hoover and blessed Ronald Reagan. Obama’s good fortune is that this sudden upturn is occurring just when he needs it most.

Bild: Texten och tidskriftsomslaget ovan är från Bloomberg Businessweek den 26 mars-1 april 2012.

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