Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too much pessimism?

Interesting column in today's NYT from David Leonhardt about the prospects for a robust recovery. Most prognosticators (yours truly included) are not very upbeat about the odds of a quick bounce-back. Many solid businesses are still having trouble raising funds and the bailouts are unlikely to last forever; so what will kick in? Leonhardt cites four possible scenarios for a GDP jump start: (1) China revalues its currency and encourages more domestic consumption; (2) American shoppers cannot stay hunkered down forever; (3) more stimulus (next year is an election year); and (4) the unknown -- no one saw the internet coming in the 1990s, after all. The latter angle is the one that I find most intriguing; we should never underestimate the impact of innovation and technical change.

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