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Archive for 2. Februar 2011

Saving the euro

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2011

By Nouriel Roubini

Published: January 28 2011 15:00 | , FT

Nouriel RoubiniThe contagion from the Greek and Irish crises has spread to Portugal, Spain and possibly Italy. Unless the eurozone undertakes radical reform there is a risk of disorderly defaults by fiscally stressed member states and even – eventually – of a break-up of the monetary union.

The current muddle-through approach to the crisis is to “lend and pray”: ie, provide financing to member states in distress (conditional on such states implementing fiscal adjustment and structural reforms) in the hope that their problems are of liquidity rather than solvency. But this could lead to disorderly defaults and a break-up of the European Monetary Union (EMU), unless institutional reforms and other policies leading to closer integration and restoration of growth in the eurozone’s periphery are implemented soon.

The periphery members all suffer from a loss of competitiveness, low economic growth (Italy, Portugal) or contraction (Spain, Ireland, Greece), and large private and/or public debts. Spain’s and Ireland’s problems started with too much debt in the private sector (due to a debt-financed housing bubble) and morphed into a public debt problem once the losses from the housing bust were socialised. Greece had a reckless fiscal policy for more than a decade, which led to a public debt crisis. Portugal and Italy have lower levels of private debt but large stocks of public debt. Distressed sovereigns that have already lost market access (Greece and Ireland) were bailed out by the IMF and the EU, but no one will come from Mars to bail out these super-sovereigns if the sovereigns end up insolvent. Thus, a new plan is needed to save the eurozone. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Euro-Zone als Drei-Klassengesellschaft

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2011

Handelsblatt.com, 2/2

Durch mehr Zusammenarbeit und Harmonisierung will Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel gemeinsam mit Frankreich die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit der Krisenländer in der Euro-Zone verbessern und künftige Währungskrisen vermeiden. Doch die Kluft in der EU ist gewaltig.

Nicolas Darkozy (l.) und Angela Merkel: Die beiden Staatschefs kämpfen gegen ein "Europa der drei Geschwindigkeiten".  Quelle: Reuters

Nicolas Darkozy (l.) und Angela Merkel: Die beiden Staatschefs kämpfen gegen ein „Europa der drei Geschwindigkeiten“. Quelle: Reuters

DÜSSELDORF/FRANKFURT. Gemeinsam mit Frankreichs Staatspräsident Nicolas Sarkozy will Merkel auf dem EU-Gipfeltreffen am Ende der Woche einen „Pakt für Wettbewerbsfähigkeit“ vorlegen. Doch während die Politiker verhandeln, driften die Volkswirtschaften der Euro-Zone immer weiter auseinander. Ökonomen befürchten, dass es so für die zum Sparen verdammten Krisenländer immer schwerer wird, den Rückstand zu Deutschland und Frankreich aufzuholen.

Von einem „Europa der drei Geschwindigkeiten“ spricht Jean-Michel Six, der Chefvolkswirt der Ratingagentur Standard & Poor’s. Deutschland fahre zusammen mit Finnland voran, Frankreich, Italien und die Benelux-Länder bildeten das Mittelfeld und die „PIGS“-Länder Portugal, Irland, Griechenland und Spanien zuckelten hinterher. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Spanish prime minister has become a reluctant convert to reform—but maybe too little, too late

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2011

 

The Economist

A great burden for Zapatero to bear

Spain and the euro crisis

Jan 20th 2011 | MADRID | from PRINT EDITION, The Economist

THE Madrid metro station of Pitis sits in an urban wasteland, a shiny monument to Spain’s housing collapse. Nobody ever came to build the apartment blocks that the station was meant to serve. Roads, pavements and streetlamps were all laid out—but then the property bubble burst. In a country with 700,000 unsold new homes, building-land right across Spain has plunged in value. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What do you expect to be the most significant economic developments in 2011?

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2011

Dec 17th 2010  The Economist

Deficit reduction—perhaps too much of it—will be the story in 2011

Mark Thoma our guest wrote on Dec 20th 2010, 21:59 GMT

I EXPECT one of the most significant developments of 2011 to be one I’d rather not see: deficit reduction.

Recovery from recessions brought about by financial panics is notoriously slow, and I don’t expect this recovery to be an exception to that general rule, though I’d be happy to be wrong about this.

Thus, rather than cutting the deficit, we need to take steps to increase the speed of the recovery or, at the very least, avoid doing things that will slow it down.

If Congress had credibility, there would be no need to worry about the trade-off between helping the economy escape the recession and reducing the deficit. Congress could do what is needed to help the economy now, and promise—credibly with specific plans—to reduce the deficit once the economy has recovered. That would give us the best of both worlds.

But, unfortunately, that’s not the Congress we have, credibility is not its strong suit, and legislators seem determined to demonstrate their intent with actions now rather than a commitment to take this up when the economy is stronger. This will place additional drag on an already slow recovery, and perhaps even send the economy back into recession.

So let’s hope we can at least realise the promise of gridlock and maintain the status quo until the economy is on better footing. We just got a tax deal that provided some stimulus to the economy, not enough, but something, and whether or not Congress offsets this—and more—through deficit reduction is one of the more significant developments we’ll see in 2011.

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Which economists are the most influential?

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2011

Jan 27th 2011, The Economist 

The future of economics is models of multiple equilibria
Laurence Kotlikoff our guest wrote on Jan 28th 2011, 15:35 GMT

I THINK the crisis has changed relative standings. Clearly, economists who were sitting on the boards of major financial companies that got into trouble have lost stature. Economists, like Ben Bernanke and Mervyn King, who govern central banks and have made wise and bold policy moves have helped redeem the profession. Economists like Ragu Rajan who saw the financial problems coming and spoke up have gained standing. Economists like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers who ignored and fostered the problems have lost standing.

The crisis is, I hope, shifting academic focus away from traditional Keynesian macroeconomics and real business cycle models to macro models of multiple equilibria, coordination failure, and financial fraud nurtured by proprietary information. I think this is raising the relative standing of those academic economists, like my colleague Christophe Chamley, who are doing deep and important work on these issues. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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