Risks of Debt: The Real Flaw in Reinhart-Rogoff: Hoisted from the Archives

Mike Konczal (2013): Reinhart-Rogoff A Week Later: Why Does This Matter?: "We are seeing subtle distancing by conservative writers on the Reinhart/Rogoff thesis.... Holtz-Eakin writes about Reinhart and Rogoff in National Review, but drops the 'canonical' status. Now they are just two random people with some common sense the left is beating up: 'In order to distract from the dismal state of analytic and actual economic affairs, the latest tactic is to blame... two researchers, Carmen Reinhardt and Kenneth Rogoff, who made the reasonable observation that ever-larger amounts of debt must eventually be associated with bad economic news...' That's not actually what they said, and if you read Holtz-Eakin in February Reinhart-Rogoff is sufficient evidence to enact the specific plans he wants. Now there's no defense of the 'danger zone' argument, just the idea that the stimulus failed. Retreat!... One thing about the 'cliff' metaphor is that there's no tradeoff that would make it acceptable.... There were numerous other ways of describing this scenario, either the technical 'nonlinearities' or the 'danger zone' of Holtz-Eakin just a few months ago. With the danger zone metaphor now out of play, perhaps economists can see the relevant trade-offs more clearly...