18 de setembro de 2011

Muita gente referiu este artigo - embora não sempre o citando - e merece ser lido: é sobre o momento Euro

Deve ser lido na totalidade (o bold é meu):

A rescue must do four things fast. First, it must make clear which of Europe’s governments are deemed illiquid and which are insolvent, giving unlimited backing to the solvent governments but restructuring the debt of those that can never repay it. Second, it has to shore up Europe’s banks to ensure they can withstand a sovereign default. Third, it needs to shift the euro zone’s macroeconomic policy from its obsession with budget-cutting towards an agenda for growth. And finally, it must start the process of designing a new system to stop such a mess ever being created again. The fourth part will take a long time to complete: it will involve new treaties and approval by parliaments and voters. The others need to be decided on speedily (say over a weekend, when the markets are shut) with the clear aim that European governments and the European Central Bank (ECB) act together to end today’s vicious circle of panic, in which the weakness of government finances, the fragility of banks and worries about low growth all feed on each other.

So far the euro zone’s response has relied too much on two things: austerity and pretence. Sharply cutting budget deficits has been the priority—hence the tax rises and spending cuts. But this collectively huge fiscal contraction is self-defeating. By driving enfeebled economies into recession it only increases worries about both government debts and European banks (see article). And mere budget-cutting does not deal with the real cause of the mess, which is a loss of credibility.

Italy and Spain are under attack not because their finances have suddenly deteriorated, but because investors fret that they may be forced to default. For this loss of confidence, blame the pretence. Europe’s leaders have repeatedly denied that Greece is insolvent (when everyone knows it is), failing to draw a line between it and the likes of Spain and Italy, which are solvent but short of liquidity. The excuse is that a Greek restructuring may cause contagion. In fact denying the inevitable has undermined pledges about solvent governments. Instead of austerity and pretence, a credible rescue should start with growth and, where it is unavoidable, a serious restructuring of debt. Europe must make an honest judgment about which side of the line countries are on. Greece, which is unambiguously insolvent, ought to have a hard but orderly write-down. The latest, inadequate plan for a second Greek bail-out, agreed at a summit in July, should be thrown away and rewritten. But all the other euro members (and on present numbers Portugal is just about in the solvent camp) should be defended with overwhelming financial firepower. All the troubled economies, solvent or insolvent, need a renewed programme of structural reform and liberalisation. Freeing up services and professions, privatising companies, cutting bureaucracy and delaying retirement will create conditions for renewed growth—and that is the best way to reduce debts.

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