Tag: currency sovereignty

Muddling through in Europe

Muddling through in Europe

The scenario I laid out for Europe for 2014 in three posts on the global economy last week is one of muddling through. However, whereas in the US, there are upside risks, in Europe the risks are mostly to the downside, politically and economically. A few thoughts on the situation follow.

Full employment policy in the periphery without the euro exit

Full employment policy in the periphery without the euro exit

In the case of Greece, with fuel, food, and medicine making up a large share of the import bill, further economic disruption and destabilization would likely result from a choice to exit the eurozone. Exiting the euro does not appear to be an option – at least not one without a large risk of introducing further turmoil. The task then becomes to thread the policy needle – namely, to exit austerity, without exiting the euro. The following simple proposal introduces an alternative financing mechanism, along with safeguards to minimize the risk of abuse of this mechanism, which may accomplish this threading of the needle.

Austerity is still the prevailing paradigm right across Europe

Austerity is still the prevailing paradigm right across Europe

Despite Europe’s continual moving of the goalposts to give countries more breathing room, the economic paradigm in Europe is still the same: austerity. This will dampen growth in Europe for the foreseeable future and increase government debt to GDP ratios, making debt deflation and crisis a background threat which will result in sovereign restructurings regardless of recovery.

Today’s European crisis trilemma is reminiscent of interwar Europe

Today’s European crisis trilemma is reminiscent of interwar Europe

The Eurozone’s tangle of conflicting goals – a series of ‘trilemmas’ – is not without precedent. This column argues that it is reminiscent of the interwar situation. The interwar slump was so intractable not just due to financial issues, but also a crisis of democracy, of social stability, and of the international political system. The big difference in the EZ is that nations cannot go off the euro as they went off the gold standard. That is why the initial EZ crisis may not have been so acute as some of the gold standard sudden stops, but the recovery or bounce back is painfully slow and protracted.

Abenomics and Japan’s disastrous macro plans

Abenomics and Japan’s disastrous macro plans

Abenomics has been very successful in goosing the Japanese economy thus far. However, the question remains whether this success will be short-lived or durable. I believe it is likely to be short-lived because of the policy constraints that all countries face irrespective of whether they have fiat currency.