Heiner Flassbeck: Recession ante portas – Why repeat the old mistakes?

Fifty years ago, there was a very special situation in the global economy: There was a major supply shock, oil prices rose, but oil continued to be consumed in almost unchanged quantities, oil producers made enormous profits, measured inflation rates in Western countries went up and central banks raised interest rates to fight inflation. The result was a deep recession, huge global income losses and the first wave of mass unemployment, the consequences of which have not really been overcome to this day.

Sounds familiar? Indeed, the similarities with today’s situation are striking and actually obvious. Well, you will probably say, then at least one can assume that those responsible and the experts have learned how to deal with such a constellation. But you are completely wrong here. The economic policy of the Western world is about to make exactly the same mistakes as back then. Today’s politicians know as little as they did 50 years ago, and the professionals who are supposed to advise policy are completely resistant to learning.

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