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Don’t Take My Word For It, Take Alan Greenspan’s

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Posted on June 19 2010 8:00 pm
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Alan Greenspan

I might not always agree with Alan Greenspan, but it’s fair to say he’s forgotten more about the economy than most people will ever know. And what he’s saying right now about spending is exactly what conservatives are saying, exactly what the Tea Party is saying, and exactly what much of the country is saying:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. may soon face higher borrowing costs on its swelling debt and called for a “tectonic shift” in fiscal policy to contain borrowing.

“Perceptions of a large U.S. borrowing capacity are misleading,” and current long-term bond yields are masking America’s debt challenge, Greenspan wrote in an opinion piece posted on the Wall Street Journal’s website. “Long-term rate increases can emerge with unexpected suddenness,” such as the 4 percentage point surge over four months in 1979-80, he said.

Greenspan rebutted “misplaced” concern that reducing the deficit would put the economic recovery in danger, entering a debate among global policy makers about how quickly to exit from stimulus measures adopted during the financial crisis. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said this month that while fiscal tightening is needed over the “medium term,” governments must reinforce the recovery in private demand.

“The United States, and most of the rest of the developed world, is in need of a tectonic shift in fiscal policy,” said Greenspan, 84, who served at the Fed’s helm from 1987 to 2006. “Incremental change will not be adequate.”

…“The federal government is currently saddled with commitments for the next three decades that it will be unable to meet in real terms,” Greenspan said. The “very severity of the pending crisis and growing analogies to Greece set the stage for a serious response.”

…The swing in demand toward American government debt and away from euro-denominated bonds is “temporary,” he said.

“Our economy cannot afford a major mistake in underestimating the corrosive momentum of this fiscal crisis,” Greenspan said. “Our policy focus must therefore err significantly on the side of restraint.”

Continue reading at Right Wing News.

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