By Lawrence Summers
Markets and perceptions of the economic outlook change rapidly. Even two months ago most observers doubted predictions of a US recession, saw no need for a fiscal stimulus, and thought that inflation fears should constrain monetary policy. Now, Washington is more or less settled on a stimulus package that will exceed $150bn; markets at one point last week expected a Fed funds rate below 2 per cent by September. The debate about recession is now about how deep and global its impact will be.