Policy Note 2009/4 | April 2009

A Crisis in Coordination and Competence

The ad hoc emergency approach to the current economic crisis has a great chance of wasting billions of dollars by mismatching skills and needs. According to Martin Shubik of Yale University, the current deepening recession needs a “quick fix” solution now, but a longer-fix solution must be put into place along with it.

There is already considerable talk about the possible need for a large public works program to follow the massive infusion of funds into the financial and automobile sectors. But who is going to manage it? For us to weather this great economic storm we need to line up and coordinate (at least) four sets of highly different talents—political, bureaucratic, financial, and industrial. Without their coordination, economic recommendations, no matter how good they may appear to be in theory, will fail in execution.

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