Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said that countries adopting an austerity-based economic policy were sure to fail. Speaking in Copenhagen on Friday, he accused European leaders of what he called “deficit fetishism,” arguing that budget cutting in lean times retards rather than encourages economic growth.
Bloomberg News quotes the Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor, paraphrasing the famous Einstein quote about insanity. Said Stiglitz: “Austerity is an experiment that has been tried before with the same results.”
The Stiglitz criticism comes on the heels of first-quarter economic results that proved stronger than expected for Europe’s leading economies, Germany and France. Even Greece, whose solvency issues triggered Europe’s economic crisis, eked out its first economic expansion in three years, with growth of 0.8% for the quarter, which matched the EU average.