The Telegraph (Link) - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (August 3, 2011)
The theoretical model behind the austerity push – known as an “expansionary fiscal contraction” – is based on the work of German theorists, and more recently on studies by Harvard professor Alberto Alesina and a group of brave scholars willing to defy the canonical doctrine of post-war Keynesian economics.
The Alesina view has been embraced by the European Central Bank and the budget cutters of the Eurogroup, but has enraged America’s professoriat and set off a heated argument across the world.
Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said there is now a one-third chance of a full-blown recession next year in the US. Nobel leaureate Paul Krugman said obscurantists had run amok. “What we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels. We are doing a terrible thing. We are repeating all the mistakes of the 1930s, doing our best shot at recreating the Great Depression,” he said.
Fear that a synchronized squeeze in half the global economy may go horribly wrong has seeped into market psychology, explaining why the $2.4 trillion (£1.5 trillion) debt deal agreed in Washington has failed to spark a relief rally. Wall Street is a step ahead, bracing for cuts in an economy that has already slipped to stall speed.