Larry Summers on stagflation risks, lessons from Delphi and never-ending ‘punch’

Ex-US Treasury head speaks about fiscal ‘overexpansion’, Fed/Treasury debt discord and ‘unknown unknowns’

L to R: Larry Summers and Central Banking’s Christopher Jeffery
L to R: Larry Summers and Central Banking’s Christopher Jeffery

You appear to have revised your concern about the economy from one about secular stagnation to one about an overheating economy featuring inflation. At what point in time did your perspective shift, and what were the primary triggers?

I changed my view at the turn of the year, when the level of government support rose into the neighbourhood of 15% of GDP in an economy with a 2–3% GDP output gap [the amount by which the economy’s output is falling short of potential]. Some time ago, I had

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