May 08, 2013

Without eliminating regulatory distortions, neither austerity nor profligacy can help Europe

Sir, Martin Wolf writes: “the hope that [the European countries in crisis] will grow their way out of their difficulties, via eurozone demand and internal balancing, is a fantasy, in the current macroeconomic context”, “The German model is not for export” May 8. 

Wolf’s line of argument, again, points to the “austerians”, as he likes to call them, being wrong. I agree with this. But that does not mean that their opposites, let’s call them the “profligates”, would be right either.

Europe, to stand a chance, and the European youth to find the next generation of jobs, needs to get rid of those distortions which direct bank credit, not based on its productivity, but based on perceived risk-avoidance. And before that is done, I would have to be an “austerian”… since wasting away scarce profligacy space on nothing is just plain stupid.

In fact those regulations are more than stupid they might in fact even signify a crime against humanity.

PS. Sir, just to let you know, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this, since he has asked me not to send him anything more about the implications of these “capital requirements for banks based on perceived risk”… he already knows it all… at least so he thinks.