Tag Archives: Jeff Frankels

A inevitável reestruturação grega

“The ECB’s Three Mistakes in the Greek Debt Crisis” de Jeff Frankels

By now just about everybody agrees that the European bailout of Greece has failed: The debt will have to be restructured. As has been evident for well over a year, it is not possible to think of a plausible combination of Greek budget balance, sovereign risk premium, and economic growth rates that imply anything other than an explosive path for the future ratio of debt to GDP.(…)

The third mistake was the failure to send Greece to the IMF early in the crisis, before Greek interest rates went to 600 basis points (…). By January 2010 the need for the [Intenational Monetary] Fund should have been clear. Rather than going into shock, leaders in Frankfurt and Brussels could have welcomed the Greek crisis as a useful opportunity to establish a precedent for the long-term life of the euro. The idea that such a problem would eventually arise somewhere in euroland cannot have come as a surprise. After all, why had the architects written the Maastricht fiscal criteria and the No Bailout Clause (1991) and the Stability & Growth Pact (1997)? Skeptical German taxpayers believed that, before the project was done, they would be asked to bail out some profligate Mediterranean country. European elites adopted the fiscal rules precisely to combat these fears. (…)

But the reaction of leaders in both Frankfurt and Brussels was that going to the [Intenational Monetary] Fund was unthinkable, that this was a problem to be settled within Europe. They chose to play for time instead, to treat insolvency as illiquidity. Against all evidence — despite a decade of SGP [em português, o PEC] violations — they still wish to believe that they can impose fiscal discipline on member states. Despite two decades in which citizens of Germany and other European countries have expressed clearly that they do not share their leaders’ enthusiasm for Economic and Monetary Union, the latter apparently still wish to believe that further progress to political and fiscal union is possible. The emu has long since become an ostrich, burying its head in the sand.

It turned out that the German taxpayers were right all along. How, in light of that democratic deficit, can anyone think that Europe is ready for a transfer union?