TORONTO (AP) — The chief executive of Goldman Sachs says he's against austerity measures in the short term as the U.S. fiscal cliff looms.

Lloyd Blankfein, also chairman of the investment bank, said Wednesday during a talk at the Canadian Club of Toronto that he's all for budget cutbacks in the long term but not in the short term.

Blankfein says "you can't austere yourself into a higher GDP" and says "it's not going to be very good if the medicine kills the patient."

The U.S. faces the prospect of a debilitating "fiscal cliff" in January when Bush-era tax cuts expire and across-the-board spending cuts are set to take effect at the same time. Economists warn that unless Congress acts, the one-two austerity punch would send the fragile economy back into recession.

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