Posted by WARREN MOSLER on November 29th, 2010
On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 7:24 PM, wrote:
I’ve tried to think of a happy ending here and there simply isn’t one.
That’s like thinking for the endgame of the US if you believe the federal budget needs to be balanced. There isn’t one in that case either.
The end game is always for the fiscal authority to run a deficit. Which means the ECB in the euro zone.
They won’t let the Euro collapse which means Germany leaving is out of the question. But Germany won’t just become the funding source for all of these periphery nations.
Right, it has to be the ECB. Just like Texas can’t fund the other states.
I think they should just vote to remove Ireland and Greece with a partial debt restructuring. They’d actually be doing them a huge favor while also avoiding massive collateral damage in the banking system.
Likewise, the ECB has to fund the deposit insurance to make it credible and workable.
Then they could target their efforts on saving Spain and the Euro.
Problem is, they all need to be saved.
As credit sensitive entities like the US states their debt to gdp ratios need to be below 20% to be ‘stand alone.’
The reason Luxembourg is that low is because they never did have their own currency, and so never could get higher than where they were.
The other national govts had their own currencies before joining the euro, and therefore had deficits appropriate for being the currency issuer, which is equal to non govt savings desires. Problem was they joined the euro, turned over the currency management to the ECB, and kept their old debt ratios. The informed way to have merged would have been to have the ECB take over their national debts, and let them start clean. But it happened the way it happened and now they have to move forward from here.
Ireland and Greece go it alone, the world panics for a few months and then everyone realizes that we’re all better off. Then the Euro continues to exist until it causes another crisis in 15 years (assuming no central funding system is created)….
They already have a central funding system in place- the ECB buying nat govt bonds in the secondary markets. While far from my first choice on how to do things for a variety of economic and political reasons, it does function to keep member nations solvent, for as long as the ECB keeps doing it.
My proposal remains the most sensible but not even a consideration- per capita ECB annual distributions to the govts to pay down debt of the member nations beginning with an immediate 10% of GDP distribution. To do this they first have to understand why it’s not inflationary, which means they have to understand inflation on the demand side is a function of spending, and the distribution does not increase govt spending.
That’s a big leap from their inflation expectations theory of inflation. They believe that anything that increases people’s expectation of inflation is what actually causes inflation. And they believe that because they have still failed to recognize that the currency itself is a (simple) public monopoly.
That means the price level is a function of prices paid by the govt of issue when it spends, whether it knows it or not, and not a function of expectations.
So while in fact it is the economy that needs the govt’s funds to pay its taxes, and therefore the economy is ‘price taker’, they instead believe that it is the govt that needs the economy’s funds to be able to spend.