The ECB confirms the confidence fairy doesn’t exist

In this working paper, the ECB studies the ‘confidence effects’ of fiscal consolidation, or what many call austerity politics. There are some ifs and buts but by and large this study confirms what Keynesians warned about: budget cuts in the middle of crisis have great negative effects.

It is of course one thing to have these statements in a working paper. It would be quite something else for the ECB to admit it has been repeatedly wrong (remember Trichet?) and furthermore, fiscal policy considerations are not quite supposed to be the terrain of the ECB anyway. But they now can share their wisdom with ECOFIN and the Commission.

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