Fiscal Policy at a Time of Financial Crisis: An Overview
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Publish date: 2010-09-30
Gospodarka Narodowa 2010;242(9):1–23
The article aims to evaluate, in theoretical terms, the fiscal policyresponse to the international financial crisis that began in 2007. The evaluation is based on a debate on the stabilization policy conducted after World War II, and on views formulated in research reports during the latest crisis. The main conclusion is that the reaction of the authorities to the crisis contradicts previously formulated theoretical recommendations. The most visible sign was the extensive use of fiscal policy measures. Theoretical recommendations were disproved in practice, largely due to political considerations. The key drawback of fiscal intervention was the lack of an assessment of the long-term implications of the move, with uncertain short-term effects. According to Lubiński, the crisis became an excuse for an inconsiderate public policy that served politicians and private interest groups. In a dubious arrangement, financial institutions were supported at the expense of taxpayers, despite the lack of public approval. The role of the government should be to ensure the proper functioning of the financial system, instead of rescuing it in the event of difficulties, Lubiński says. Another problem is posed by unclear regulations for discretionary action.