In 2008 the world economy was saved from depression by a bold and co-ordinated plan to shore up banks and counter the slump with fiscal and monetary stimulus. Today there is no boldness (the euro-zone crisis is the epitome of politicians doing too little too late). There is no co-ordination. And, to the extent that policies have a common theme, it is the wrong one: politicians across the rich world are taking too short-term a view of fiscal austerity””a bout of budget-cutting which will only increase the risk of another recession.
It does not have to be this way. Echoing the spirit of 2008, policymakers could adopt a co-ordinated strategy to boost growth. Two priorities stand out. First, a recalibration of fiscal and (in some places) monetary policy. Second, a big push on supply-side reforms, from freeing trade to slashing red tape.