Reinhart and Rogoff say that recovery from a financial-crisis recession is slower than recovery from the usual kind, thus seeming to disagree with Bordo et al--but they mean something different by "recovery". They date recovery not from the trough of output, like Bordo et al, but from the previous peak, asking how long it takes the economy to get back to where it started. The two sides are asking different questions. Bordo and Haubrich aren't challenging Reinhart and Rogoff's finding about the depth and duration of financial-crisis recessions; and Reinhart and Rogoff aren't addressing Bordo and Haubrich's point about the pace of recovery measured from the trough. Both sides could perfectly well be right.
I'll need some convincing that Bordo and Haubrich are right, because it's easy to think of reasons why a financial-crisis recession would be followed by a slower than normal recovery (measured from the trough). However, the strength of recoveries (measured from the trough) does happen to be the issue Bordo and Haubrich directly investigate, unlike Reinhart and Rogoff, who are concerned with the properties of the recession and recovery viewed as a single episode. Reinhart and Rogoff have good reasons for looking at it that way--namely that it's difficult to date the trough, and the delay before you get back to the previous peak is arguably all that matters anyway. The fact remains, the two sides are talking past each other.
In contrast, the disagreement about how to accelerate the recovery is worth having. Rogoff, for instance, has said he thinks a bit more inflation would improve the recovery by reducing debt. Bordo, who's endorsed Romney, is presumably more interested in lowering taxes, cutting public spending, regulatory reform and the other items in the statement he signed to that effect. This would be a more fruitful discussion.
I don't know about you, but when confusion arises in disputes of this kind, I always turn to Krugman for dispassionate adjudication. His column attacks what he calls crisis denialism, and regrets the way politics is twisting economic analysis. In a blogpost on the same subject a few days ago he put it this way:
Call this another example of how politicization is hurting economics. The proposition that financial crises change macroeconomic outcomes is surely one of the big things we've learned in recent years. Yet here we have well-known economists refusing to listen and throwing out misleading studies, which just happen to be convenient politically.
That's so true. Thank heavens we have Krugman to lean against the trend, and go where the evidence takes him without partisan preference.
And I'm so pleased that, on Krugman's recommendation, we can welcome Reinhart and Rogoff back into the fold of competent professionals deserving of respect. Not long ago, he was drawing attention to the "best takedown yet" of Reinhart-Rogoff's work linking high levels of public debt lead to slower growth.