Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Great Crisis and the American Response

Contents:

Author Info

  • James K. Galbraith
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The global abatement of the inflationary climate of the past three decades, combined with continuing financial instability, helped to promote the worldwide holding of U.S. dollar reserves as a cushion against financial instability outside the United States, with the result that, for the United States itself, this was a period of remarkable price stability and reasonably stable economic expansion. For the most part, the economics profession viewed these events as a story of central bank credibility, fiscal probity, and accelerating technological change coupled with changing demands on the labor market, creating a model of self-stabilizing free markets and hands-off policy makers motivated by doing the right thing - what Senior Scholar James K. Galbraith calls "the grand illusion of the Great Moderation." A dissenting line of criticism focused on the stagnation of real wages, the growth of deficits in trade and the current account, and the search for new markets. This view implied that a crisis would occur, but that it would result from a rejection of U.S. financial hegemony and a crash of the dollar, with the euro and the European Union (EU) the ostensible beneficiaries. A third line of argument was articulated by two figures with substantially different perspectives on the Keynesian tradition: Wynne Godley and Hyman P. Minsky. Galbraith discusses the approaches of these Levy distinguished scholars, including Godley’s correlation of government surpluses and private debt accumulation and Minsky's financial stability hypothesis, as well as their influence on the responses of the larger economic community. Galbraith himself argues the fundamental illusion of viewing the U.S. economy through the free-market prism of deregulation, privatization, and a benevolent government operating mainly through monetary stabilization. The real sources of American economic power, he says, lie with those who manage and control the public-private sectors - especially the public institutions in those sectors - and who often have a political agenda in hand. Galbraith calls this the predator state: a state that is not intent upon restructuring the rules in any idealistic way but upon using the existing institutions as a device for political patronage on a grand scale. And it is closely aligned with deregulation.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/ppb_112.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Public Policy Brief Archive with number ppb_112.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Jun 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_112

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

    Related research

    Keywords:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Strachman, Eduardo & Fucidji, José Ricardo, 2010. "The Current Financial and Economic Crisis: Empirical and Methodological Issues," MPRA Paper 27130, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.