Jeremy Grantham: US should focus on “green” infrastructure spending

Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of asset manager GMO, says the US must set out on a new “green” Marshall Plan to tackle climate change.

If the US is serious about tackling the biggest challenges facing the country right now, it needs to embark on a new “green” Marshall Plan, says Jeremy Grantham.

Jeremy Grantham, who co-founded US asset manager GMO in 1977, believes the US government should take advantage of historically low interest rates to finance “a long, sustained and massive public works programme”, similar to the scheme that helped to rebuild Europe in the wake of World War II, “at negative real rates”.

While Covid-19 is today’s obvious concern, Grantham is more worried about long-term issues. “I believe income inequality is eating away at the economy from the inside with the lack of economic progress for workers reducing demand.”

This problem goes back to the financial crisis, if not beyond. “The great waste in 2009 and 2010... was the use of precious resources to bail out banks,” says Grantham. The decision “was both unjust and economically inefficient: it was a violation of the spirit of capitalism”.

A new Marshall Plan should focus on “green” infrastructure spending: “It is absolutely imperative that the entire economy be greened if we want any hope to maintain a stable global civilisation in coming centuries.” Infrastructure in the US is already “unusually behind schedule on maintenance and subpar quality”, and many of the jobs created would be “industrial and labour-intensive”, helping to address growing inequality. The move would also help challenge China’s “growing dominance” in green tech.

Recommended

Why are energy prices going up so much?
Energy

Why are energy prices going up so much?

UK energy prices are going through the roof, with electricity the most expensive in Europe and gas at its highest for 13 years. Saloni Sardana explain…
16 Sep 2021
What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us
Inflation

What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us

As UK inflation hits 3.2%, Dominic Frisby compares the cost of living 50 years ago with that of today, and explains how debt drives prices higher.
15 Sep 2021
Should you defer your pension and stay in work?
Pensions

Should you defer your pension and stay in work?

The pros and cons of deferring your pension and staying in employment beyond 66 are finely balanced.
15 Sep 2021
I wish I knew what a marginal tax rate was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a marginal tax rate was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Your marginal tax rate is simply the tax rate you pay on each extra pound of income you earn. Here's how that works.
14 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
Should investors be worried about stagflation?
US Economy

Should investors be worried about stagflation?

The latest US employment data has raised the ugly spectre of “stagflation” – weak growth and high inflation. John Stepek looks at what’s going on and …
6 Sep 2021
How you can profit from the power of the grey pound
Share tips

How you can profit from the power of the grey pound

Higher life expectancy and surging asset prices have proved a boon for the baby-boomer generation, which has accumulated vast wealth. Younger generati…
10 Sep 2021