THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: European governments have signed a "suicide pact" by imposing fiscal austerity plans that will collapse their economies, Joseph Stiglitz, the liberal economist, has warned.
"The answer, even though they see over and over again that austerity leads to collapse of the economy, the answer over and over [from politicians] is more austerity," said Mr Stiglitz to the Asian Financial Forum, a gathering of over 2,000 finance professionals, businessmen and government officials in Hong Kong.
"It reminds me of medieval medicine," he said. "It is like blood-letting, where you took blood out of a patient because the theory was that there were bad humours.
"And very often, when you took the blood out, the patient got sicker. The response then was more blood-letting until the patient very nearly died. What is happening in Europe is a mutual suicide pact," he said.
Keynesian economics, which require governments to help sustain demand, suggests that austerity measures should be imposed when an economy is booming, not waning.
Mr Stiglitz pointed out that 700,000 public sector jobs had been cut in the United States in the past four years, removing demand from the system as unemployment spikes. The UK is set to lose a similar number by 2017. Read on and comment » | Malcolm Moore, in Hong Kong | Tuesday, January 17, 2012