Is the U.S. Recovery Stalling Out?
And if it is, what do we do about it? My column this week for the FT says: look to housing-market policy (better late than never) and to the Fed.
The stalling recovery, and the evident incapacity of Congress and the administration to respond, should silence talk of a rapid exit from QE2 and put QE3 back on the table. The case for additional easing is strong. A responsible central bank is always mindful of the risk of inflation - but with wages showing no sign of responding to the blip in prices, this danger is hardly imminent. True, exiting from an even larger programme of easing will pose problems, but again this should be weighed against the much greater costs of a failing recovery.
The economy is faltering and the government - if not actually making things worse - is flailing uselessly. The Fed is all there is.