Buiter mõtiskleb USA ekspansiivse fiskaalpoliitika üle

Willem Buiter jagas täna Financial Times’i blogis enda arusaama sellest, kuhu ekspansiivne fiskaalpoliitika võib USA juhatada ja miks lühiajalised lahendused ei pruugi teha muud kui viia veel dramaatilisemate sündumusteni mõne aasta pärast, sest ei soovita arvestada lühiajaliste lahenduste pikaajaliste tagajärgedega:

So will the Keynesian demand stimulus work?  For a while (a couple of years,  say) it may.  When the consequences for the public debt of both the Keynesian stimulus and the realisation of the losses from the assets and commitments the Fed and the Treasury have taken onto their balance sheets become apparent, the demand stimulus will fade and may be reserved as precautionary behaviour takes over in the private sector.  My recommendation is to go easy on the fiscal stimulus.  The US government is ill-placed financially and fiscally, to engage in short-term fiscal heroics.  All they can really do is pray for a stronger-than-expected revival of global demand, without any major stimulus from the US.

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Given the bad fiscal position of the US Federal government and given the vulnerability of the external position of the US and its growing reliance on foreign funding, the scope for expansionary fiscal policy in the US is much more limited than president-elect Obama’s advisers appear to realise.  Underneath the effective demand problem is a deep structural rot, especially in household sector and financial sector balance sheets.  Keynesian cyclical policy options that would be open to more structurally sound economies should therefore not be tried on anything like the same scale by the US authorities.

Huvitav mõtisklus, mille loogika on üllatavaltki veenev. Kirjutis on pikemat sorti, kuid võimaldab lugedes mõtiskleda ka Eesti probleemide üle, mis näivad kohati olevat üpriski sarnased ameeriklaste omadele. Täiendavaid järeldusi pakub Arnold Kling:

1. It is harder to spend larger amounts quickly and cost-effectively.

2. There is a greater risk that we will run into a “sudden stop,” in which foreign investors are no longer willing to fund our deficits (this is Buiter’s main worry).

3. There is a risk that the intergenerational transfer imposed by the stimulus (from our children to ourselves) is excessive, particularly in the context of other intergenerational transfers of the same sort.

4. There is a risk that fiscal stimulus, large or small, is actually ineffective, so that a large stimulus only means a large failure.

5. There is a risk that much of the spending will kick in after a recovery is underway.

6. The government’s capacity to deal with an emergency, such as a major natural disaster or a foreign attack, will be limited, because its credit worthiness will be damaged.

7. There is a risk that government will absorb a permanently higher share of GDP. Policymakers will be reluctant to cut public spending for fear of causing a downturn. Moreover, it will be difficult politically to cut public sending.

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