While it appears that Quantitative Easing has reached its limits and the FED intends to implement a strategy of gradual exit, there is less clear what available options exist for stimulating the economy.
The monetary policy has been preferred to fiscal policy to fight the recession, at least for United States. While Quantitative Easing has been recurrently applied in many episodes, from QE1 to the more recent QE4, there has been less attention paid to the possible uses of fiscal policy.
I discussed in a previous post about the failure of austerity measures in Portugal. Here, I would like to take a few steps back and look better at the theoretical foundations of austerity. Without being a theoretical presentation of austerity, this post rather discusses the empirical evidences regarding the effects of austerity measures.
To many, this is not news. However, given the persistence of IMF and other international institutions to insist with new austerity measures, it is still surprising.
The sovereign debt crisis, see also my blog post on the sovereign debt crisis that focused on deficit spending, has made more evident than ever that the Euro Area is deficient in many respects and one could reasonable state that it is far from an optimal currency area.
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.