Greg Mankiw tell us he has found another member of the Coalition against Fiscal Stimulus. This time its the President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet. At a recent press conference he said,
With respect to fiscal policies, a discretionary fiscal loosening in EU countries should be avoided. There is ample evidence that activist fiscal policies were not effective in stabilising European economies but rather led to sustained increases in the ratios of government expenditure and debt to GDP. Allowing the free operation of automatic stabilisers in countries with strong fiscal positions and safeguarding the long-term sustainability of public finances are the best contributions that fiscal policy can make to macroeconomic stability. Countries with fiscal imbalances are urged to make further progress with consolidation, in line with the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. There is a clear risk that some countries will fail to comply with the provisions of the preventive arm of the Pact, thereby undermining its credibility.