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New Left Review I/185, January-February 1991

John Grahl

Economies Out of Control

At the end of the 1980s a word was pronounced in London and New York which had virtually dropped out of economic vocabulary at the start of the decade—stagflation. The Reagan and Thatcher booms are over and their successors have been left to grapple with a legacy of financial disorder and industrial decay. War in the Gulf, apart from all its other dangers, will entail heavy economic costs for both the United States and Britain. Even without the Gulf crisis, however, economic developments have been increasingly adverse: by the beginning of this year both the us and the British economies were in recession, in spite of rising inflation rates, and a familiar policy dilemma was posed once again—either a degree of price stabilization at the cost of deeper recession or some growth at the cost of increasingly immoderate doses of credit expansion.

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