In the US, we have the worst of all possible worlds. On one hand, stimulus had become a dirty word – even within the Obama administration – well before the Republicans’ mid-term election victory ruled out another round altogether. On the other hand, medium-term consolidation will be all but impossible in America’s current atmosphere of hyper-partisanship, with Republicans blocking any tax increase and Democrats resisting reforms of entitlement spending. Nor is there any pressure from bond markets to concentrate the minds of policymakers.
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