The Great Recession–Moving Ahead

“The Great Recession–Moving Ahead,” a Conference Sponsored by the Swedish Ministry of Finance, Stockholm, Sweden


The Great Recession: Moving Ahead

The recession that began in the United States in December 2007 ended in June 2009. But the Great Recession is a near-worldwide phenomenon, with the consequences of which many advanced economies–among them Sweden–continue to struggle. Its depth and breadth appear to have changed the economic environment in many ways and to have left the road ahead unclear.

Today I will discuss three key aspects of the challenges policymakers face as they seek to move ahead. These are: (1) The impact of the Great Recession and the associated Global Financial Crisis on the growth of output, both in the short term and over the longer term. (2) The reform of the financial sector–in other words, how much progress have we made in creating a safer and more stable post-crisis financial environment? (3) The impact of the crisis on the conduct of monetary policy–in particular, how to balance the goals of achieving stable inflation and full employment while also taking into account the need to maintain financial stability. I will leave it to others to address the important challenges facing fiscal policymakers as they determine the appropriate roles and paths for fiscal policy at both the macro- and micro-levels.

To keep the focus sharp, I will deal primarily with the economy of the United States. But policymakers around the world confront related challenges and I will draw also on the post-crisis experiences of other economies. And I should make it clear that my comments today are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of other members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.1

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