There is a general agreement that the mainstream macroeconomics has largely failed to predict or correctly estimate the last economic and financial crisis, see the introduction here on the website of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. This failure has motivated more than ever different heterodox approaches to macroeconomics.
Now and then, we might hear from diverse people, especially politicians, about the terrible problem of trade deficit. Take for example the recent report by Bergsten which calls for a plan of action to force China to let its currency appreciate in order to have the US trade deficit diminished.
The Big Mac Index is a popular measure of the degree of undervaluation or overvaluation of a certain currency with respect to US dollar (or any other world currency). It is based on the purchasing power parity theory.
The ideas of Austrian economic school are becoming more popular. However when you look at the current debates in macroeconomics (especially the academic ones) you will barely find any place for Austrian school ideas. Although most of today academic macroeconomics can be thought of as Keynesian (Greg Mankiw thinks that the old debate between freshwater and saltwater macroeconomics is dead), and although many old ideas have been successfully used recently (like Pigou’s theory of business cycle), there hardly is any place for Austrian ideas.
The European sovereign debt crisis continues to attract a lot of attention on both sides of the Atlantic. The analysts have proposed many several potential causes for this crisis and, obviously, the lack of fiscal discipline, including the issue of deficit spending, is widely considered as one of the most important ones. An analysis of this issue can shed some light on the problem of deficit spending which is highly debated in the United States in the last years.