My old friend HZ sends me this pic, from the first 100 days of the Obama admin, when the job market and GDP were falling off a cliff and the new President, VP, econ and legislative teams were working around the clock to try to arrest the slide (as was the Fed, of course). We managed to work with Congress to pass the Recovery Act less than four weeks in (imagine that), and the medicine quickly got into the system.
Subsequent research shows that the stimulus, the work of the Fed, and the credit market interventions were instrumental in reversing the worst of the great recession. That said, it was always a tough sell to the public, and once the Tea Party got to town, we pivoted to austerity too soon.
That’s yours truly next to the big man, who looks like he’s thinking “when are these economists gonna stop talking and do something!”