Tags: Obama | economy | monetary | policy

Obama Administration to Allies: Do as We Say, Not as We Do on Economy

By    |   Monday, 13 April 2015 07:40 AM

With U.S. fiscal policy hamstrung during the past four years by partisan strife between the White House and Congress, the Federal Reserve has taken full control of trying to boost the economic recovery.

So it's a bit ironic that the Obama administration is taking Europe and Japan to task for relying too much on monetary policy to spark some life into their moribund economies and too little on fiscal policy and economic restructuring.

That criticism came in the Treasury Department's newly released semi-annual currency report. Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are engaged in massive easing campaigns to jumpstart their economies.

The Fed has been injecting huge stimulus into our economy for the past seven years, although it began dialing back last year and is expected to start raising interest rates this year.

"There is certainly a concern [on the part of the Obama administration] that Japan and Germany trying boost their economies through an increase in exports rather than an increase in domestic demand will lead to an increasingly unbalanced recovery, and could lead to trade tensions as well," Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad tells The Wall Street Journal.

"There is also a concern that if Japan and the eurozone are trying to rise on the coattails of the U.S., that will drag down the U.S. economy as well."

"In contrast to solid U.S. performance, global economic outcomes have been disappointing and remain of concern. Not only has global growth failed to accelerate, but there is worry that the composition of global output is increasingly unbalanced. Weak global growth importantly reflects an insufficiently comprehensive mix of macroeconomic policies in some key countries, which leaves substantial scope for efforts to support domestic demand," the report states.

"The global economy should not again rely on the United States to be the only engine of demand."

Meanwhile, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says the U.S. government's mismanagement of global economic policy is leading to a major erosion of influence.

"This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system," he writes in The Washington Post.

"I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China's effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out." He was referring to the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.

"Political pressures from all sides in the United States have rendered the global economic architecture increasingly dysfunctional," Summers states.

Conservatives have blocked International Monetary Fund governance reforms, and liberals have hampered infrastructure projects, he explains.

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With U.S. fiscal policy hamstrung during the past four years by partisan strife between the White House and Congress, the Federal Reserve has taken full control of trying to boost the economic recovery.
Obama, economy, monetary, policy
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2015-40-13
Monday, 13 April 2015 07:40 AM
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