UK Only Article:
The $9 trillion sale
Leading American economists argue that desperate times call for desperate measures
ON JANUARY 2nd Philadelphia was not only blanketed with four to six inches of snow, but five to six feet of economists. Almost 12,000 descended on the City of Brotherly Love to attend the annual meeting of the American Economic Association. If the chill in the air failed to dampen their spirits, it seemed to tinge the outlook of many presentations. Financial markets may have rung in 2014 with high hopes, but macroeconomists spy danger as far as the eye can see.
The worst of the recessions that followed the subprime mess may be over. But the economists gathered in Philadelphia insisted on pointing out that its legacy remains, in the form of huge debt loads, uncompetitive economies and high levels of unemployment. Across advanced economies debts stand at post-war highs, according to—presumably triple-checked—figures presented by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University. Those …