23 August 2010

The Crisis Down Under

I wish I'd posted this before the 2010 federal election.

A piece by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prizewinner for Economics.

Kevin Rudd, who was prime minister when the crisis struck, put in place one of the best-designed Keynesian stimulus packages of any country in the world. He realized that it was important to act early, with money that would be spent quickly, but that there was a risk that the crisis would not be over soon. So the first part of the stimulus was cash grants, followed by investments, which would take longer to put into place.

Rudd’s stimulus worked: Australia had the shortest and shallowest of recessions of the advanced industrial countries. But, ironically, attention has focused on the fact that some of the investment money was not spent as well as it might have been, and on the fiscal deficit that the downturn and the government’s response created.

Hat-tip to Tyler Cowen.

Hat-tip to Chris Blattman for introducing me to Tyler Cowen.


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