Martin Wolf is Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times. His article in this issue is an expanded version of a talk given at a symposium in Oxford sponsored by The New York Review and St. Antony’s College, and then posted on the Financial Times website. (July 2013)

IN THE REVIEW

How Austerity Has Failed

British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Brussels, May 2012
Austerity has failed. It turned a nascent recovery into stagnation. That imposes huge and unnecessary costs, not just in the short run, but also in the long term: the costs of investments unmade, of businesses not started, of skills atrophied, and of hopes destroyed. What is being done here in the UK and also in much of the eurozone is worse than a crime, it is a blunder. If policymakers listened to the arguments put forward by our opponents, the picture, already dark, would become still darker.