The symptoms are being dissected ad nauseam in the press, the halls of government and other august forums including the kitchen table. But, while “recovery” is a freely used term, seldom does the discussion include either its definition or, worse, that of the disease we need to treat.
- Does “recovery” mean restoration of bubble-driven economies of the recent and distant past, so aptly described by Eric Janszen in the June 2008 Harpers; or does it mean an environment of sustainable growth and balanced expectations?
- Is the disease a virus transmitted only through the financial community’s unsupervised greed; or is it a global pandemic of highly contagious self-indulgence and instant gratification that originated in the developed world?
These are questions that need to be answered in order to put policy and its objectives into the proper perspective.