The Lessons of the North Atlantic Crisis for Economic Theory and Policy

Guest post by: Joseph E. Stiglitz Columbia University, New York, and co-host of the Conference on Rethinking Macro Policy II: First Steps and Early Lessons In analyzing the most recent financial crisis, we can benefit somewhat from the misfortune of recent decades. The approximately 100 crises that have occurred during the last 30 years—as liberalization policies became  dominant—have […]

A Balanced Debate About Reforming Macroeconomics

Guest post by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University, and co-host of the Conference on Macro and Growth Policies in the Wake of the Crisis

The most remarkable aspect of the recent conference at the IMF was the broad consensus that the macroeconomic models that had been relied upon in the past and had informed major aspects of monetary and macro-policy had failed. They failed to predict the crisis; standard models even said bubbles couldn’t exist—markets were efficient. Even after the bubble broke, they said the effects would be contained. Even after it was clear that the effects were not “contained,” they provided limited guidance on how the economy should respond. Maintaining low and stable inflation did not ensure real economic stability. The crisis was “man-made.” While in standard models, shocks were exogenous, here, they were endogenous.