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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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THE prognosis is looking ever more grave. What began 15 months ago with a seizure of the credit markets has become a disease with an alarming list of real economic symptoms. America, Britain, the euro zone and Japan are already in a recession that threatens to be the worst, in some places, for a quarter of a century and possibly since the Depression. American consumers, unable to borrow and fearful for their jobs, are cutting spending; so are firms, short of cash and worried about sales. German business confidence is at a 15-year low. Japan’s exports to both rich countries and emerging ones are falling. Emerging economies are suffering too, as commodity prices fall and capital flees faster than in those countries’ own crises of a decade ago. In some countries—notably the United States—a vicious deflationary spiral of banks withdrawing credit and demand contracting is no longer unimaginable.
Seeing the threat to the world economy’s vital functions, the policymakers have been working overtime. Interest rates have been cut dramatically. American rates are already down to 1%; Britain’s are at a 50-year low; and this week China’s central bank lopped 108 basis points off its main policy rate. Hundreds of billions have been pumped into banks and financial markets. Many financial institutions have been bailed out: the rescue of the once mighty Citigroup (see article) is merely the latest unthinkable to happen.
Despite all this, the patient has not responded. This is partly because some traditional remedies, such as looser monetary policy, are weakened in a credit crunch. It is also because the doctors have been ham-fisted....
Read it all.
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