Ne glede na izid pogajanj med Grčijo in trojko (inštitucijami) bo Grčija zaradi zahtevanega stalnega primarnega proračunskega presežka (zaradi servisiranja dolga), ki bo zmanjševal domačo porabo, na daljše obdobje prisiljena v varčevanje. Kar pa seveda pomeni nizko (ali celo negativno) rast in posledično stagniranje ali povečevanje javnega dolga (glede na BDP). Grčija se z varčevalno dieto še dolgo ne bo uspela izviti iz stagnacije. Zato je prehod na svojo valuto ali uvedba paralelne valute lahko korak v smeri ne samo izhoda iz likvidnostnih težav, pač pa večje fleksibilnosti in možnosti stimuliranja rasti. Pomembno je vedeti, da paralelna valuta ne pomeni uvedbe drahme in izhoda iz monetarne unije, pač pa dopolnilno paralelno plačilno sredstvo, ki ni nujno v neskladju z zakonodajo EU.
Do sedaj je bilo v javnosti predstavljeno nekaj predlogov uvedbe paralelne valute, ki bi kratkoročno reševali grške težave z nelikvidnostjo in hkrati stimulirali rast: in sicer uvedba navadnih bonov (IOUs, Cochrane), uvedba nekakšnih davčnih zadolžnic oziroma tax anticipation notes (TANs, Parentau), uvedba elektronskega denarja (FT-coins, Varoufakis) ter uvedba davčnih kreditnih certifikatov oziroma tax credit certificates (TCCs, Bossone & Cattaneo). Bossone & Cattaneo sta pravkar v VoxEU v dveh nadaljevanjih pripravila pregled učinkov teh štirih različnih vrst paralelnih valut za Grčijo. Spodaj je kratek izsek značilnosti in glavnih učinkov posameznih predlogov, pri čemer pa Bossone & Cattaneo preferirata njun predlog davčnih kreditnih certifikatov, ki naj bi najbolj stimulirali rast domačega agregatnega povpraševanja.
The proposals discussed in Part I can be evaluated on the basis of how each type of currency design would be expected to impact domestic aggregate demand and fiscal variables. The following observations can be made.
- Cochrane’s IOUs seem to be working at best as a stopgap measure, in that they would enable to government to make payments and release euros to service the debt. Yet, the solution would likely not be sustainable over the medium term, since the IOUs would create a new class of government euro-denominated debt obligation, which nobody would know whether, when, and how the Greek government would honour. Also, issuing IOUs would only replace scarce euros but would have no stimulation effect on domestic aggregate demand, output, and employment.
- With regards to Parentau’s tax anticipation notes (TANs), unlike Cochrane’s IOUs, they would not represent debt obligations for the issuing government. As to the other effects, they depend on how the proposal is interpreted. If the tax notes are issued and used as a replacement for scarce euros for government payments, they would act as a stopgap measure, like Cochrane’s IOUs, but would do nothing to add to domestic aggregate demand. This conclusion would change if the issuing government were to assign them to citizens as extra (additional) endowments, supplementary to their income sources. Regarding their impact on the budget, as tax notes were used to extinguish tax liabilities, they would cause shortfalls of government euro revenues and increase the deficit to be financed with new debt or taxation. Unlike tax credit certificates (TCCs), the notes would bear no deferred maturity and would not provide time for new fiscal resources to be generated as an offset. Finally, unlike the tax certificates proposal, Parentau’s tax notes would not be issued to enterprises with a view to reducing their tax bill and, hence, their labour cost, thus improving their external competitiveness.
- As to Varoufakis’ proposal, the FT-coins would not bring many additional resources into the economy. Individuals get FT-coins in exchange for euros they already possess. The creation of additional purchasing power for individuals and enterprises would only grow inasmuch as the FT-coins were sold at a premium vis-à-vis their face value, based on their above-par tax-worth to the state. Giving them away free of charge – similar to helicopter money, as per the tax certificates proposal – would make their impact more effective. As in the TCC model, the multiplier effect set off by the additional spending would have to generate the resources to cover the euro shortfalls that would affect the budget at the time of FT-coin redemption. However, all else equal, the multiplier effect triggered by the FT-coins would be weaker than under the TCC option since the spending leakages through the external trade channel would not be offset by larger exports through labour cost reductions (which TCCs make possible).
- Finally, the TCC option would not suffer from the above weaknesses. TCCs would create additional spending power, avoid negative external trade effects, and generate resources to offset euro shortfalls from tax reductions at TCC maturities. They would also have safeguards to protect the budget from the risk of fiscal under-performances (see below).
Implementing a TCC programme in Greece
Introducing TCCs in Greece could take the economy rapidly out of depression by prompting a strong recovery of output and employment. In the Annex below, a ‘base case’ (without TCCs) is compared with an alternative scenario (with TCCs) contemplating the issuance of €8 billion (4.5% of GDP) equivalent of TCCs in the first year of the programme, increasing to €16 billion, and €24 billion in the second and third years, respectively, and staying unchanged thereafter. The alternative scenario is run under two different hypotheses:
- A ‘baseline’ hypothesis, which assumes a 1.3 fiscal multiplier (that is, a 1.3 increase in GDP per every TCC issued on a yearly basis); and
- A ‘conservative’ hypothesis, based on a much lower fiscal multiplier of 0.8.1
In the base case, Greece achieves some modest real growth, with the 1.9% average primary surplus only allowing it to attain a very limited reduction in the public debt ratio, from 183% to 178% in five years. On the other hand, in the alternative scenario under the baseline hypothesis (1.3 multiplier), output strongly rebounds with real GDP growth averaging 4.3% over the five-year forecast timeframe. Meanwhile, the average primary surplus grows to 3.5% of GDP, causing the public debt ratio to fall to 131%.Even under the conservative hypothesis (0.8 multiplier), Greece would average a more than decent 2.4% real GDP growth, while the public debt ratio would fall to less than 161% and the primary surplus would undershoot the 1.9% target, averaging 0.9% nonetheless.
Vir: Bossone B and M Cattaneo (2015), “A parallel currency for Greece: Part II,” VoxEU.org, 26 May.
Bossone B and M Cattaneo (2015), “A parallel currency for Greece: Part I,” VoxEU.org, 25 May.
Cochrane J (2015) “Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds,” The Grumpy Economist, 6 February.
Parentau R (2013) “How to Exit Austerity, Without Exiting the Euro,” New Economic Perspectives, 6 December.
Schuster L (2015) “Parallel Currencies for the Eurozone: An outline and an attempt at systematization,” Veblen Institute for Economic Reform, 21 May.
Varoufakis Y (2014), “Bitcoin: A Flawed Currency Blueprint with a Potentially Useful Application for the Eurozone,” Thoughts for the post-2008 world, 15 February.