Review and assessment
The case for reform In the early 1990s policymakers in the major economies reached a compromise between laissez-faire (neoclassical) and interventionist (Keynesian) ways of running market economies. Perhaps more by luck than good judgement they managed to escape from the oscillation that had characterised policy previously – the ‘journey to Utopia and back’ as Britton (2001) described it. For around 15 years the new synthesis, with its emphasis on monetary stability and inflation targets, seemed to perform remarkably well in achieving its main objective of overcoming the inflation that had afflicted major economies in preceding decades. Moreover it did so without resort to the stagflation that had gripped many of the majors in the 1980s; except in Japan, the one major economy that has continued to stagnate.