Link to a review by Michael Hudson of James K Galbraith‘s book Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe (2016):
“At first glance the repeated ‘failure’ of austerity prescriptions to ‘help economies recover’ seems to be insanity – defined as doing the same thing again and again, hoping that the result may be different. But what if the financial planners are not insane? What if they simply seek professional success by rationalizing politics favored by the vested interests that employ them, headed by the IMF, central bankers and the policy think tanks and business schools they sponsor? The effects of pro-creditor policies have become so constant over so many decades that it now must be seen as deliberate, not a mistake that can be fixed by pointing out a more realistic body of economics (which already was available in the 1920s).”
This is reminiscent of a quote frequently attributed to Donald Berwick (among others): “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” In the economic context, this notion is also explored further in Economists and the Powerful (2012).