Heiner Flassbeck: Eine deutsche Falle für Italien

“Ja, es muss jemand einen Kredit aufnehmen und mehr Geld für Güter und Dienste ausgeben, als er selbst eingenommen hat. Mit anderen Worten, jemand muss neue Schulden machen. Denn wenn alle nur so viel ausgeben, wie sie einnehmen, bleibt die Wirtschaft genau stehen. Geben bestimmte Gruppen sogar weniger aus als sie einnehmen, das sind die, die wir üblicherweise Sparer nennen, ohne dass andere entsprechend entsparen oder sich verschulden, bricht die Wirtschaft weiter ein. […]

Man kann darauf bauen, wie das Deutschland im Zuge seiner ‘Strukturreformen’ zu Anfang der 2000er Jahre getan hat, dass andere Schulden machen, die einem selbst zugute kommen. Das kann gelingen, wenn man selbst den Gürtel enger schnallt und so billig wird, dass die Menschen im Ausland vermehrt die eigenen Güter kaufen und dafür Kredite aufnehmen.

Diesen Weg wäre Italien als exportstarke Nation in den vergangenen Jahren gerne auch gegangen, doch dieser Weg ist für Mitglieder der Eurozone weitgehend verschlossen. Er ist verschlossen von der Nation, die sich mit Hilfe ihres Lohndumpings auf den globalen Märkten der Welt dick und fett breit gemacht hat und den höchsten Leistungsbilanzüberschuss der Welt aufweist, nämlich Deutschland.”

https://makroskop.eu/2018/06/eine-deutsche-falle-fuer-italien/

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EU’s debt deal is “kiss of death” for Greece

“Arguments for privatization aside, the deadly combination of higher debt and declining GDP had most economists convinced quite early on that austerity was killing Greece’s economy, and that a debt write-off would be at some point absolutely necessary for medium- and long-term recovery. However, Germany and its northern European allies had diametrically opposed this idea, insisting on even stronger doses of austerity, while balking at the prospect of a debt write-off.

At the same time, the idea of Greece exiting the euro was also an anathema to Germany and the eurocrats in Brussels. Keeping Greece in the Eurozone—even while its economy and society were going to bleed to death as a result of harsh austerity measures—was deemed absolutely imperative for the very survival of the euro, and for ensuring that all previous debts to European banks were going to be repaid. […]

In contrast to Tsipras’s outrageous claim that the debt deal represents a ‘historic’ agreement, in that it allows Greece to become a ‘normal country’ once again, the measures agreed on to make Greece’s debt sustainable will doom the country into becoming a permanent semi-peripheral debt colony of the EU. The deal simply pushes the debt into the very distant future, and locks society into a state of perpetual austerity by requiring that the government run exceedingly large primary budget surpluses. The deal is not a cause of celebration for Greece but, rather, a kiss of death. […]

At this point, with full budget surpluses running in the range of 5.3 percent (until 2022) and even 4 percent (from 2023-2060), ‘severe’ is not the right word to describe the level of austerity that will need to be enforced on the Greek population. A more apt term is ‘brutal’ austerity […]”

https://truthout.org/articles/eus-debt-deal-is-kiss-of-death-for-greece/

Greece, Germany and the IMF: the struggle continues

“To its credit, the Fund [IMF] saw what was happening and gave up on its austerity program. Germany did not. In early 2012, numerous reports surfaced of growing friction between the IMF and the EU countries over the Greek program. The Fund was upset that the EU (Germany in particular) was focused almost completely on getting Greece to reduce its government deficit. The Fund insisted this one dimensional approach had failed. Clearly, the IMF was attempting to distance itself from the austerity measures imposed on the country under the insistence of the EU. […]

But Germany and other countries who foolishly lent Greece monies do not want any defaults. Are they not engaged in wishful thinking?

  • Where are the funds to pay off these debts going to come from?
  • What happens when the European Central Bank stops buying up Greek bonds?

Consider what Greece would have to be paying in interest on its debt at market rates. 5% of €320 billion works out to €16 billion annually. And when you add to that paying off its maturing debt…. The Fund is right to be concerned. The Europeans are ‘kicking the can down the street.’ And Greece is supposed to run a surplus of 3%+ indefinitely? This ‘crisis’ has just been extended.”

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4185955-greece-germany-imf-struggle-continues

Why the debt deal with the EU is bad for Greece

“As a result, rather than ending the crisis once and for all by cancelling part of the debt and thereby sharing the burden of adjustment equitably with European creditors, this deal simply shifts the burden of adjustment onto future generations of Greek workers and taxpayers. […]

At the heart of Greece’s protracted fiscal crisis was always a highly contentious social and political question about the real meaning of European solidarity: Who should be made to pay for the presumed ‘profligacy’ of successive Greek governments, or the ‘excessive risk-taking’ of profit-hungry private creditors in the lead-up to the crisis?

The course of action that European leaders ended up settling on turned out to be very one-sided in this respect: Greece alone was to blame for its predicament, and therefore, Greece alone would be made to pay for it.

The real motivation behind the bailouts was always to safeguard the survival of a dangerously over-exposed European banking system—but this fact was quickly obscured.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/debt-deal-eu-bad-greece-180624082950318.html

Charles Wyplosz: Wolfgang Schäuble est un criminel

“Q: En quoi Wolfgang Schäuble est-il concerné?

A: Il est responsable d’une politique d’austérité en Europe qui a créé plusieurs millions de chômeurs. C’est criminel. La Commission a obéi à ses ordres. Le ministre allemand aurait dû comprendre que l’Europe était dans une situation de crise historique et que la priorité n’était pas de réduire les déficits, mais de créer des emplois. Il fallait tirer les leçons de la Grande dépression des années trente. Alors que la crise battait son plein, le président américain Hoover disait que l’État devait donner l’exemple et se serrer la ceinture. C’était le contraire qu’il fallait faire.”

https://www.letemps.ch/economie/2017/05/21/charles-wyplosz-wolfgang-schauble-un-criminel

Fricke: Deutschland allein zuhaus

“In keinem nicht nordkoreanischen Land der Welt wehrt sich das Ökonomie- Establishment so bitterlich dagegen, alte Dogmen abzulegen wie in Deutschland. Eine Schrulligkeit, die teuer zu enden droht. […]

Auf die Verschwörerliste gehören natürlich auch die Amis, die Briten, die Financial Times, die Weltbank, der Economist, die Bank of England, bei manchen Fragen 90 Prozent der Euro-Zentralbanker, mindestens ein halbes Dutzend Nobelpreisträger, selbst konservative Ökonomen wie Kenneth Rogoff oder Charles Wyplosz (‘was Schäuble macht, ist kriminell’), die Spanier, die Grünen, die Österreicher, die Griechen, sogar Chefs deutscher Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute sowie – Umfragen zufolge – ein Großteil jener Ökonomen, die bei uns jenseits der heiligen Orthodoxie von Sachverständigen, Bundesbank und Ifo-Institut wirken. Also eigentlich die ganze Welt. Gegen uns. So ähnlich muss sich Kim Jong Un fühlen, wenn er abends im Bett liegt. […]

Wenn Finanzminister Wolfgang Schäuble versuche, die Kritik an Handelsüberschüssen zu kontern, würden ‘zentrale Aspekte’ der Kritik einfach übergangen. Nichts womit man international anerkannte Spezialisten auch nur ansatzweise überzeugt. Im Gegenteil. Das ist eher peinlich. Oder es heißt, dass irgendein Vorschlag eben irgendwie links ist – das geht natürlich gar nicht.”

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/deutschland-wirtschaftsweise-gegen-den-rest-der-welt-kolumne-a-1152352.html

Analysis: What taxpayer bailouts? Euro crisis saves Germany money

A bit older, but still au courant:

“But the truth remains that German taxpayers, as well as those in Finland, the Netherlands and elsewhere, are no worse off at all, and their finance ministries have racked up savings. […]

When giving presentations in Germany, Klaus Regling, the German who heads the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund, often cites two studies that show that Berlin has reaped substantial savings as an unintended consequence of the crisis.

One study, by German insurance giant Allianz, has calculated that Berlin saved 10.2 billion euros in 2010-2012 because of lower borrowing costs, as yields on its 10-year bonds fell from 3.39 percent to 1.18 percent now.

The other study, by Jens Boysen-Hogrefe of the IfW economic institute, suggests that the German federal budget saved 8.6 billion euros in 2011 due to low ECB interest rates and the safe-haven impact of investors putting money into Germany.

Those savings rose to 9.6 billion in 2012 and the safe-haven effect will alone be worth 2 billion in 2013, IfW said. […]

The heart of the misconception about taxpayers losses is the fact that in public discourse, the difference between lending and giving has ceased to exist.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-bailouts-idUSBRE9410CG20130502