Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Big Bang Policies

It has been noted that the Troikans are in favor of rapid changes in bailed-out economies, a policy that has been very cleverly been dubbed "big bang solutions". The same policy is to followed (or at least Troika intends in following it) in Cyprus. As if the consequences in Greece are (unfortunately the past tense cannot be used here) not a great example of what these rapid changes can cause. It looks like some people never learn from their mistakes.

The Wall Street Journal hosts an interview by Mario Monti, with the latter stating that he is certain the ECB will do what it takes to save the euro, the night before it disintegrates. He wonders: Do we have to reach that night before the ECB does something? For me the answer is obvious: Yes Mario we do. The crisis has began to spread amongst the EU countries which were so far resilient, like France which is expected to witness a 0.1% contraction of GDP in the third quarter of 2012, while expectations were that a 0.1% contraction would have occurred as well in the second quarter. Two consecutive contractions and then welcome recession!
The same holds for Germany which has witnessed both imports and exports declining and is hoping that demand from emerging markets will offset the fall in demand in the EU. German GDP is expected to rise by 1% in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if that proves to be an optimistic estimation. Even politicians in Germany have started to doubt whether the policy Angela Merkel is pursuing in the EU is a rational one. The next Federal Parliamentary elections in Germany are to be held in September-October 2013. If Merkel is defeated then a new Chancellor may have different views on the subject. Can the euro last until then without any assistance? Most likely not.

Mario Monti said yesterday that high lending costs reflect not only the economic situation in a country, but the fears that the euro will collapse. In addition I believe the markets also fear that the country might leave the euro. Unfortunately, Super Mario is right, although he may not be able to save his country from bankruptcy. (Thank 8 years with Mr. Bunga Bunga for that) If the ECB does not intervene to lower borrowing costs in the South, we may be talking about a euro collapse in the next year. And to think I am mostly an optimist!

What I would love to see is Draghi take some action, and Merkel leaving him alone to act. Holland has been strangely quiet over the last month or so, which makes me wonder whether the "anti-austerity" policies he claimed before the elections were just the usual political promises.

No comments:

Post a Comment