Friday, February 03, 2012

The Great Recession: Structural Problems, or The Fed?

[Guest post by Don Geddis.  Part of the series.]

Ron and I have been debating whether the US Fed "caused" the current Great Recession (a novel claim by Market Monetarists), or instead whether the cause was the conventional story that: a housing bubble collapsed, causing a crisis in the financial sector, leading to a worldwide recession.

I realize that interest is probably waning to continue this discussion, but since neither Ron nor I are economists, I thought it might be useful to wrap up with a similar debate by actual professionals.

Noah Millman puts forth an argument for the conventional view, that the US had structural problems in the economy, and the collapse should be no big surprise (at least in hindsight), and any sustainable recovery requires restructuring the economy first.

Scott Sumner defends the MM view, that without severe missteps by the Fed, there never would have been a Great Recession.

Those of you still interested in this topic, may want to scan the same argument by real economists, and see which you find more convincing.

No comments: