A flash from the past…

October 16th, 2016 at 9:13 pm

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!”


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3 comments in reply to "A flash from the past…"

  1. urban legend says:

    The “tough sell to the public” was made tougher by appearing to give dishonest Wall Street executives a free pass by not, at minimum, loudly filing suits attempting to claw back ill-gotten bonuses. Instead, we had the Secretary of the Treasury wringing his hands over the power of their contracts, while others within the Administration were cavalierly dismissing the importance of the existing labor contracts in the auto industry. This was one disconnect that made “change you can believe in” look like just another case of election puffery, and helped the Republicans regain Congress in 2010.

  2. Jill SH says:

    I reflect and continue marvel at what was truly accomplished by you guys in those early days. As a state legislator at the time, I know the money going to the states meant we could pass a passable budget. Though crunched, we were able to keep going, and suffered some of the least disruption and unemployment of all the states, and the NH economy recovered fairly quickly.

    Of course our legislature was taken over by a veto proof majority of Tea Party types in 2010, and their tax slashing has kept our state constricted ever since. The state’s historic non-funding of mental health and drug abuse programs left us especially vulnerable to the opioid epidemic. Only now with the Medicaid expansion — which we did manage to get past a Republican senate — do we have funds for addiction treatment programs.

    Thanks for all the work you did then.

  3. Tom in MN says:

    Ah to work in the White House. Have to be careful what you wish for.