Happy New Year:A Time for Recovery

For the past several weeks I have been buried in the work of academia, grading a mountain of exams and essays. I am nearly finished and will return to regular blogging shortly. My students  will be able to find the course outlines for the second term, Poli 349 and Poli 363 on this blog shortly. In the meantime they can consult the previous year’s outlines for these courses on my previous blog, Harold Chorney political economist. Simply google the course numbers and my name and you will be directed to the outlines. The new ones should appear here by Tuesday morning.

Despite an absence from the blog for most of the past month I can’t really say that there have been dramatic improvements in either the on going crisis of the euro and sovereign debt or the long overdue economic recovery. But there have been some smaller signs of progress. In the United States there are some positive signs in terms of employment, the housing markets and the general level of confidence. If it were not for the fears about Europe I suspect the recovery would even be stronger in the U.S. Canada has showed some signs of a slower rate of growth but we will have to await further data to confirm this. Europe is still mired in its obsession with counterproductive austerity and the ECB still refuses to buy sovereign debt directly but it did inject close to 500 billion euros in the form of very cheap loans to the private banking sector . Some of these loans may well be used to increase the purchase of sovereign debt and thereby improve the private banks balance sheets plus lower interest rates on the debt. This appears thus far to have happened to a small extent with Italian sovereign debt. But there is much more work to be done to ensure that there is not another deep technical recession in Europe. Austerity is a bad policy that needs to be abandoned in order to permit the European economies to grow and generate jobs. The ECB is moving in a better direction but it needs to go much further . Nevertheless its a new year and what could be better a time for reawakening some optimism, animal spirits, entrepreneurial enthusiasm and a sense of hope  for a healthy, happy and more prosperous year for everyone than the dawn of a new year. So once again Happy New Year !

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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