Sunday, January 20, 2008
end of the Great Moderation, might be
United States has spent only 16 months of the last quarter-century in recession — a vast improvement over previous eras. The recent period has been called the Great Moderation; growth cycles have evened out, and inflation has abated in almost every country around the globe. But will it work now? The Fed faces not only the twin demons of recession and inflation but also the specter that further rate cuts would cause foreign investors — who own more than $2 trillion of U.S. debt — to bail out, sending U.S. interest rates soaring. That, combined with the steadily worsening housing slump, could make for a long and nasty recession. And it would mark the end to the Great Moderation.