Ever since the monetary spigots and fiscal deficit pump primers were set on overload in the wake of the global recession that erupted following the Wall Street calamities of 2008, many economists have warned about the danger of a double dip recession. In other words, the underlying weakness of the advanced economies most impacted by the recession is so severe, an anaemic recovery may be shortly followed by a quick return to economic contraction. This is in fact what is increasingly likely to occur.
After incurring a flood tide of debt to cover the losses of the private banking sector, many advanced economies doubled down their bets by unleashing another torrent of debt for economic stimulus activity. The Keynesian policymakers assumed that the massive dose of public debt would quickly restore economic growth, thus ending the global economic crisis.
What has in fact happened is that unprecedented levels of massive growth in the public debt has, at best, bought a feeble, anaemic and jobless "recovery," with many economists calling for additional deficits for more stimulus spending. However, the bond markets have begun to react to the increasingly unsustainable levels of public debt. Thus, in short order we saw the Greek debt crisis evolve into the European debt crisis. Sovereigns that once boasted of their deficit spending are now in a panic, desperately trying to find ways of shrinking their structural deficits. The UK is joining with major Eurozone countries such as Germany in warning their citizens that austere times lie ahead, as governments reverse direction and begin to cut spending. These sombre voices are being echoed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and G20, as those officials, largely American, who are still calling for more deficit spending are now being drowned out by increasingly desperate European sovereigns, who have caught the scent of public default and national insolvency, and the apocalyptic economic repercussions that would ensue.
Now, what happens to a weak and artificial recovery from the worst economic recession since World War II when the fiscal deficits which alone underpin this so-called recovery are sharply curtailed? The answer is clear except to the politicians; double dip recession lies ahead, which will likely transform the global economic crisis into a full-blown synchronized depression.