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Tags: Stiglitz | Europe | Casey | austerity

Joseph Stiglitz: European Economic Policies 'Have Failed'

By    |   Tuesday, 02 September 2014 01:16 PM

The eurozone economy registered zero growth in the second quarter, and fears abound that the region will fall back into recession.

Many economists say Europe's fiscal austerity has helped cause the problem.

"There is no way other than to say that the policies have failed," Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, tells Wall Street Journal columnist Michael Casey.

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"They are trying to put the best face they can on this, but the numbers are much worse even than people are talking about," Stiglitz notes. The eurozone's GDP stands 18 percent below where it would be if the economy had maintained its growth rates of 1980 to 2008, he says.

Casey explains that the European Central Bank (ECB)'s preparation to embark on a bond-buying campaign "underscores the abject failure of Western governments to deal meaningfully with difficult economic and demographic challenges."

That failure "has left central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and ECB to play an ever-larger role — one they can’t fulfill indefinitely without compromising their own integrity or the health of financial markets," Casey says.

In June, the ECB cuts its benchmark rate to a record low of 0.15 percent.

Meanwhile, opposition is starting to build against European governments' fiscal austerity programs.

"The backlash against austerity has taken some time to arrive, but this is it," Antonio Barroso, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London, tells Bloomberg. He was referring to the firing of French Finance Minister Arnaud Montebourg last month over his opposition to austerity.

"The mood on this is shifting at the European level," Barroso said.

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Finance
The eurozone economy registered zero growth in the second quarter, and fears abound that the region will fall back into recession.
Stiglitz, Europe, Casey, austerity
288
2014-16-02
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 01:16 PM
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