Sunday, November 02, 2014

Mired in Mediocrity

By VANESSA FRIEDMAN, NYT, OCT. 31, 2014

WELCOME to the “new mediocre.” It’s not quite the New Look, or the New Deal, but it is the new normal.

At least according to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who coined the term a few weeks ago.

She was referring to the global economy, of course, which she thought could use a jolt lest it “muddle along with subpar growth,” but her words, uttered during a relatively small-scale speech at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, have had an impact far beyond the school’s borders and the world of economists (though said economists were very het up about it), reaching into the Twitterverse.

Macroeconomic theory rarely seems to have much to do with the minutiae of everyday life, but in this case Ms. Lagarde’s phrase has a surprisingly resonant application. Suddenly, that free-floating malaise and lack of inspiration everyone keeps complaining about has a name.

(More here.)

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