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If the financial crisis has brought us something good, it is that it has exposed the ignorance with which the economy has been treated by the media. The downside of it is that few seem to have noticed, and that the economic journalists don't seem to have learned anything from it. This is particularly clear when looking at the way news about the stock market and the housing market are treated.
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Denmark, in the seventies and eighties the sick country of Northern Europe with high unemployment and deficits everywhere, has made an impressive come-back during the last decade. Low unemployment, surplus on the public finances, surplus on the current account. Government debt was practically paid back in 2007. Reasonable – even if unimpressive - growth rates. Looks like a small miracle, doesn't it?
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As the financial markets imploded in late 2008, crisis packages of some sort were implemented in most countries to soften the impact of the financial melt-down on the real economy. There has been no thorough discussion about these crisis measures, as the crisis packages because of the urgency generally were hastened through parliaments. It is of course too early to assess the impact, but they have undoubtedly been working to some extent, increasing demand and hence detaining somewhat the fall in production and employment
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As the financial crisis unfolds in the developed world and starts impacting in the developing countries, the question arises naturally: is this just one more cyclical crisis, even if an unusually nasty one, or is there something deeper wrong about the way the “system” is working? This is hardly a new question, as this has been asked as long as capitalism has existed as the dominant system, and cyclical crises have always been an inherent part of its way of functioning. The long period of relatively stable economic growth we have witnessed in the developed world since the mid eighties…
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