The financial crisis has been overstated in order to advance a sweeping collectivist agenda, says Nobel prize-winning economist Gary Becker.
"It's over,” Becker told UK Telegraph financial columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
“Forecasts of a Great Depression turned out to be wrong.”
“I'm not convinced this recovery is going to be slow,” Becker says. “We're close to working off the housing excess.”
“Loans are picking up and productivity is doing very well, which means companies are going to start hiring more rapidly."
However, Becker distrusts the Federal Reserve to act correctly when the time comes to drain its massive monetary stimulus – and that time may soon be upon us, he says, if it isn't already.
"There is potential for very serious inflation if the Fed gives in as usual to political pressures,” Becker observes.
"You don't rely on fiscal policy to get you out of recessions. It takes too long for Congress to agree on anything."
Becker, who sees demographic forces as the arbiters of economic destiny, says Europe is poorly positioned in this regard.
Some economists see economic growth tied directly to population increases, that is, more people being born or moving into a country than die or leave.
"Every country in Europe” is falling behind on population growth, he says. “It is really serious in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Eastern Europe."
Chinese leaders see it the other way around. Population growth is a problem, not a solution. According to Vice Premier Li Keqia, China will continue its one-child government policy.
"A large population and a weak economic base are the two main features of our country,” Li said at a recent meeting.
“The population issue is a major problem for the country's comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development."
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