|Hollande en Merkel|
Eerder deze week werd het weer niks op de Eurotop. De nieuwe Franse president Hollande wilde eurobonds om een belangrijk deel van de schulden van landen als Spanje en Italië, en wellicht zelfs Griekenland, ter herfinancieren en de diepte van een gemeenschappelijke obligatiemarkte te geven, teneinde die landen een manier te bieden de rente op hun schulden omlaag te brengen.
Hollande kreg echter nul op het request van Angela Merkel, de Duitse bondskanselier. Ook een ander voorstel van Hollande om de ruimte te vegroten voor leningen direct van de Europese Centrale Bankl (ECB) werd door Merkel afgeschoten. Niet helemaal verwonderlijk, want Duitsland zou in beide gevallen de grootste lasten hebben moeten dragen. Ook onze eigen Mark Rutte was overigens tegen, terwijl de Belgsiache libertaal Verhofstadt juist heel; erbg vóór was. Verhofstadt roept dat al sinds eind 2011.
Geen overeenstermming op de top derhalve, en dat terwijl het toch al vijf over twaalf is.
Intussen is er niet alelen een groeiend aantal EU-leiders dat aan de kant staat van de Franse president, ook niet minder dan drie Nobelprijswinnars in de economie laten als sinds maanden vergelijkbare geluiden horen. Christopher Sims en Joseph Stiglitz stellen zich zonder meer achter het plan om 60% van de Europese schulden onder te brengen in Eurobonds. Paul Krugman heeft wat meer reserves ten opzichte van de Eurobonds naar het lijkt (het zou inde hand kunnen werken dat de begrotingsdiscipline van de schuldenlanden verzwakt wordt), maar pleit er wel krachtig voor dat de ECB de mogelijkheid van kredieten verruimt. Alle drie laten weten de toesatdn zeee ernstig te vinden. Krugman zegt zelfs dat de euro anders gedoemd is ten onder te gaan, en wel ook nog eesn heel gauw.
Christopher Sims, in the Globe & Mail, 23 april 2011:
But there is another way. Princeton University’s Christopher Sims, a Nobel laureate in economics, said on a panel on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington on the weekend that there is more to the higher bond yields in Europe than a lack of confidence in governments.
Also in the price is recognition that governments such as Spain and Italy can’t print their own money. The United States and Japan also have horrendous budget problems, but investors recognize that Washington and Tokyo can print dollars and yen, respectively, if they want to. Excessive money creation is problematic, of course, but in the short term it significantly reduces the risk that any country with a printing press will default on its obligations.
This is an argument for Germany and other countries to drop their resistance to euro bonds. Rising borrowing costs across Europe are hurting governments’ ability to generate growth and maintain social programs. They also put credit out of reach of some households and businesses.
Euro bonds would be considered a safe asset, and investors would accept lower yields to own them. This would benefit the entire euro zone.
The only way to return to normalcy in European debt markets is to deliver on euro bonds, Prof. Sims said – and not over the long term, but “soon.”
Joseph Stiglitz, ex-Worldbank, professor aan de Columbia University in New York, zei het al in BBC's Newsnight in augustus 2011:
"Unless some framework like European bonds are promoted, it's going to be very difficult for the troubled eurozone countries to be able to meet their financial requirements."
Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, said eurobonds could be created with a limit and conditions attached to stop, what he described as, the failure of the present lending system.
"Right now Governments are borrowing from their individual banks and these bonds are being discounted by the European Central Bank (ECB)."
"In a way, eurobonds are already happening but in a very non-transparent way and with a lot of uncertainty about how the present system is going to continue.
Stiglitz' collega Paul Krugman (Princeton en London School of Economics) houdt een krachtig pleidooi in Der Spiegel 0-23 mei 2012 om de ECB - snel - meer ruimte voor het verlenen van kredieten te geven:
Krugman: What happens if Greece leaves? Then you have again a bank run in other peripheral countries because they've set the precedent. But, again, that could be contained with lending from the ECB (European Central Bank). What has to happen is that the ECB has to be willing to replace all euros withdrawn as is necessary. And I think the case we're making for that lending becomes a lot easier because the Greeks were actually irresponsible. The Greeks actually did behave badly, and so the political case for unlimited exposure to Greece is very hard to make. A much easier case to make is for Spain and then Portugal and Italy, all of which did nothing wrong on the official side. So you could argue that the bad actor has been ejected, but we need to save the good actors.
SPIEGEL: But is the ECB ready to act in the way you propose?
Krugman: That's the mystery, right? We will see a big flood of money out of Spanish and Italian banks, and then the ECB has the choice to accept a big increase in its exposure to those countries. The ECB lending that much money with ultimately the Bundesbank on the hook for a lot of it -- that seems impossible. But if you say, well, the ECB won't be willing to do that, then the euro blows apart. And allowing the euro to fail -- that's impossible. But one of those two impossible things is going to happen.
Krugman: I'm not saying that I don't ever care about debt, but not now. If you slash spending, you just depress the economy further. And, given the low interest rates and what we now know about long-run effects of high unemployment, you almost certainly actually even make your fiscal position worse. Give me a strong-enough economic recovery that the Fed is starting to want to raise interest rates to head off inflation -- then I become a deficit hawk.
SPIEGEL: So, for now, we should just ignore the huge debt burdens?
Krugman: That's right. It's quite amazing that we're giving priority to the imagined threat that the bond markets might lose faith even though they give every indication of not being worried at all, given the reality that millions of people have been unemployed for more than a year and the almost certain long-term damage that that's inflicting.
SPIEGEL: But we can't just kick the debt can down the road and let future generations deal with it. The debt has not been shrinking even in good economic times.
Krugman: That's not true. We went into huge deficits when the economy plunged, and this is the time for huge deficits, not later. And it's not a date; it's a condition. When the economy has recovered sufficiently so that we're no longer in the liquidity trap is when you start to worry about debts again. John Maynard Keynes said: "It's the boom, not the slump, that is the time for austerity." And we're definitely not in the boom yet.
Waarom luisteren de Euroepe leiders niet naar deze experts?