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Yale Prof mixes zombie metaphors – medicine and the economy

October 4, 2012

Stephen Roach, professor at Yale School of Management, and senior executive at Morgan Stanley, has published in TODAYonline: “Wrong medicine turns consumers into zombies”:

zombie stephen roach

Roach’s headline suggests the zombie side-effects of medications. But the article is about the zombie economy.

This mix of health metaphors and economic metaphors is not uncommon. Recall Warren Buffett saying the economy had a heart-attack. Roach writes:

The wrong medicine is being applied to America’s economy. Having misdiagnosed the ailment, policymakers have prescribed untested experimental medicine with potentially grave side effects.

He recalls “Japan, and its corporate zombies of the 1990s” before moving on to “Animal Spirits” and concluding:

As the global economy has gone from crisis to crisis in recent years, the cure has become part of the disease. In an era of zero interest rates and quantitative easing, macroeconomic policy has become unhinged from a tough post-crisis reality. Untested medicine is being used to treat the wrong ailment – and the chronically ill patient [the American consumer] continues to be neglected.

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