02 fevereiro 2009


Um artigo de opinião no Financial Times sobre o euro que vale a pena ler. O artigo é da autoria de Edward Chancellor e descreve algumas das principais conclusões de um livro sobre os 10 anos do euro. Aqui estão alguns excertos:
"In 1973 Derek Mitchell, a British Treasury official, observed that the loss of exchange rate flexibility would remove a simple method for rectifying imbalances between Europe’s economies. Without the option of exchange rate depreciation, once imbalances appeared “equilibrium could only then be restored”, declared Mr Mitchell, “by inflation in the ‘high performance’ countries and unemployment and stagnation in the ‘low performance’ countries, unless central provision is made for the imbalances to be offset by massive and speedy resource transfers”...
"Europeans are paying the price for the oversights of their former political masters. Since the euro came into existence a decade ago, consumer prices in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain have risen by an average of about 20 percentage points more than in Germany. They have also experienced lower productivity growth. In addition, they have run large current account deficits and, with the exception of Italy, have experienced tremendous housing bubbles and credit booms. The ECB inadvertently contributed to the credit booms by setting an excessively low interest rate for fast-growing economies, such as Ireland.
In the past, the weaker European economies faced with the current crisis would have simply devalued their currencies. With that option closed by monetary union, their economic outlook appears dire..."
As former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt says “the great strength of the euro [is] that nobody can leave it without damaging his own country and his own economy in a very severe way”.
"However, the alternatives aren’t pleasant. Germany might be forced to make reluctantly huge fiscal transfers to eurozone countries with large current account deficits, such as Spain. But this wouldn’t make them more competitive. As former Bundesbank president Karl-Otto Poehl says: “The other European countries have no choice [but] to . . . embark on a course of cost-cutting.”

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