Dec 21, 2011

Political Constraints Have Led Leaders To Avoid The Short-Term Pain & Political Costs Of Tough Decisions

The US has postponed its fiscal consolidation and avoided the other structural reforms – investments in infrastructure, education and skills and changes to energy policy – that are required to restore its potential growth rate. The eurozone has been in denial of the fact that some of its member states are insolvent, as well as unable to survive and grow in a monetary union. China has persisted in its weak currency, to support its export and investment-led growth model where savings are too high and consumption too low.

In all cases political constraints – the approaching elections in the US and leadership transition in China at the end of 2012, and the inability of the eurozone’s 17 governments and coalitions to coordinate policies coherently while staggered elections and changes of government take place – have led leaders to avoid the short-term pain and political costs of tough decisions that will yield benefits only over the medium term. - in Economonitor

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Nouriel Roubini is an American economist. He teaches at New York University's Stern School of Business and is the chairman of Roubini Global Economics.