Oct 18, 2008

World - Amartya Sen backs Obama

Americans lolling about without confidence has pushed the US into a recession, but things could become normal if "cool" Democrat nominee Barack Obama wins the presidential election, feels Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

"It (US) certainly is in a recession already. There is no question about that. The question is how deep a recession it is," he told NDTV on his assessment of the US economy.

The 1998 Nobel laureate in economics said that economies are pushed towards depression when people suddenly lose confidence and that is what has happened in the US.

"It is that suddenly people have lost confidence. And, that's how depression has traditionally been. You lose confidence, you cut down your activities. That leads to the cut down of other activities," the economist said.

He was, however, of the view that Obama could play a major role in infusing confidence, although he would not be in office until January.

"His (Obama's) coolness is a real advantage in a financial crisis. And, when that happens, I think you might see the confidence... Turn around very quickly," said Sen, who was born in Santiniketan, West Bengal.

According to him, "the positive side (to any depression) is that just as it can decline by lack of confidence, when confidence comes in, it can also dramatically improve."

He also concluded that the current crisis in the US has not been caused by external factors and the problems were internal and more to do with lack of confidence.

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