The biggest economic debate of our time centres around one fundamental question: is the decreased growth in today's world economy a short-term glitch -- or is it part of a permanent spiral? Without an answer, we have no hope of steering our international economies back towards the growth they need.
After the global financial crisis, Larry Summers, Harvard professor and former director of the White House National Economic Council, reintroduced into economic debate the concept of 'secular stagnation', arguing persuasively that we're stuck in a trap of persistent low growth and depressed employment. The causes are various, from new technologies that have shifted the economy to zero-cost designed goods, to interest rates that can't go lower than zero. Without bold government intervention, there's no way out. And there's no time to lose.