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Fareed Zakaria “But, first, here’s my take: The International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook makes for gloomy reading. Growth projections have been revised downward almost everywhere, especially in Europe and the big emerging markets like China.

And yet, when looking out over the next four years, coincidentally the next presidential term, the IMF projects that the United States will be the strongest of the world’s rich economies.

U.S. growth is forecasted to average 3 percent, much stronger than that of Germany or France at 1.2 percent or even Canada at 2.3 percent.

Increasingly, the evidence suggests that the United States has come out of the financial crisis of 2008 in better shape than its peers because of the actions of its government.

Perhaps the most important cause of America’s relative health is the Federal Reserve. Ben Bernanke understood the depths of the problem early and responded energetically and creatively.

The clearest vindication of his actions has been that the European Central Bank, after charting an opposite course for three years with disastrous results, has now adopted policies similar to the Fed’s and, thus, averted a potential Lehman-like collapse in Europe. Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, the leading experts on financial crises, argue that the United States is performing better than most countries in similar circumstances in history.

Consumers are paying down debt and consumer confidence is at its highest levels since September 2007. Every American recovery since World War II has been led by housing, except this one.

But, finally, housing is back. Two weeks ago, Jamie Diamond, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, declared that housing had turned the corner and predicated that, as a consequence, economic growth in 2013 would be so strong that the Fed would have to raise interest rates.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high as a percentage of gross domestic product and companies have $1.7 trillion in cash on their balance sheets.

American exports, which have climbed 45 percent in the past four years, are at their highest level ever as a percent of GDP.

The key to long-term recoveries from recessions is reform and restructuring and U.S. businesses have been quick to respond. Government intervention, believe it or not, has assisted this process with banks, with auto companies and even in housing.

Banks had to undergo stress tests and had to raise capital. The Economist Magazine, which had initially opposed the auto bailout, reversed itself because of the manner in which General Motors and Chrysler were forced by the government to cut costs and become competitive.

Now, all these good signs in the economy come with caveats. Europe continues to weaken, the fiscal cliff looms ominously. But compared with the rest of the industrialized world and with the arc of other post bubble recoveries, the United States is ready for a robust revival.

This is partly because of the dynamism of the U.S. economy, but also because of the timely and intelligent actions of the Fed and the Obama administration.

The next president will reap the rewards of work already done. So it would be the ultimate irony if, having strongly criticized almost every measure that contributed to these positive trends, Mitt Romney ends up residing over what he would surely call the Romney Recovery.”



Posted October 29, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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