Thursday, November 25, 2010

Economic Fundamentals Strike Back at the Euro

As I wrote earlier, here, what happens to the euro is a perfect illustration of Herbert Stein’ Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop”.

Now after years of denial and obfuscation by European politicians, businessmen, and economists, reality simply strikes back: one money fits none, and moreover it provides perverse incentives to borrowers while aggravating macroeconomic disequilibria.

Continental commentators, and especially economists, are busy trying to operate a complete turnaround in their assessment of the situation: the number of those who pretend to have forecast the present difficulties a long time ago is growing rapidly with the deteriorating euro outlook.

But, in France for instance, if I remember well, only four economists consistently and clearly criticized the enterprise from the start (and even before the creation of the euro) and continued to do so during all the following years: Alain Cotta, Gérard Lafay, Jean-Pierre Vespérini, and myself, following the lead of Martin Feldstein in the US. All the others either loudly applauded to the initiative or hedged their bets by forecasting some difficulties but that the governments would easily solve with more “coordination” and a centralized, federal, “European economic governance”.

Now to obtain a more truthful view of the current problem, have a look at non-continental media:
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard , “The horrible truth …” in the Telegraph, Sean O’Grady in The Independent, Ian Martin commenting on the speeding up of the euro-zone crisis in the Wall Street Journal.

And on the inconsistencies of the euro promoters see "The Eichengreen paradox" on Econospeak.

What’s next? No one can forecast the timing of extraordinary events and crises, but in a world of information abundance the moment you realize that something is going to change, that change has probably already happened. The day of reckoning may not be too far away.

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