Stiglitzev načrt za rešitev Evrope: fleksibilni evro

Nobelovec Joseph Stiglitz je v Vanity Fair obelodanil načrt za rešitev Evrope. Glede na rigidno institucionalno strukturo evro območja, ki nujno ustvarja trgovinska neravnotežja in preprečuje, da se države z devalvacijo potegnejo iz krize ter glede na velikanske stroške takojšnjega razpada evro območja na eni in politične neizvedljivosti prehoda na popolno fiskalno in politično unijo na drugi strani, Stglitzev načrt predvideva vmesno pot, in sicer  t.i. fleksibilni evro. To v bistvu pomeni uvedbo nacionalnih evrov (nemški, grški, italijanski, slovenski itd.). Stiglitz glede tega ni zelo ekspliciten (glejte spodaj), bistveno bolj ekspliciten je bil Steve Keen, ki je že pred štirimi leti predlagal uvedbo nacionalnih evrov in predlog tudi bolj razdelal.

V bistvu gre za vrnitev nazaj pred leto 1999, pred uvedbo evra, in sicer na sistem ERM2. V prvem koraku bi se določili tečaji med valutami 1 proti 1, nato pa bi se glede na dinamiko trgovinskih in kapitalskih tokov postopoma oblikovali novi menjalni tečaji med nacionalnimi valutami. V drugem koraku bi se tečaji fiksirali in določil razpon nihanja tečajev (denimo +/- 2.5% od centralne paritete). V tretjem koraku bi se nacionalni evri preimenovali v stare nacionalne valute (marke, lire, drahme, tolarje itd.). Ta predlog je seveda dober, saj bi to omogočilo večjo fleksibilnost oziroma večjo prilagodljivost držav. V bistvu gre za vrnitev nazaj na nacionalne valute, kar pomeni, da zaradi možnosti sprotnega prilagajanja tečajev ne bi prihajalo do velikih trgovinskih neravnotežij, na drugi strani pa bi v primeru krize države dobile zelo pomemben instrument ekonomske politike, ki so ga izgubile z evrom: z devalvacijo tečaja bi lahko povečale konkurenčnost svojega izvoza in tako spodbudile gospodarsko okrevanje.

Gre za postopno in kontrolirano odpravo evra in prehod nazaj na zadnji delujoči sistem, torej pred 1999. Kar je dobro, zelo dobro in najbrž edina izvedljiva rešitev za EU.

The most urgent reforms needed are in the eurozone structure itself—not inside individual countries—and a few, halting steps have been taken in that direction. But those steps have been too few and too slow. Germany and others have sought to blame the victims—countries that suffered as a result of the flawed policies and the flawed structure of the eurozone. Without reform of the eurozone itself, Europe cannot return to growth.

What is to be done? A return to the status quo ante—what has been called a mutual “amicable divorce”—could have profoundly negative consequences on many fronts. And going “all in”—creating a Europe that is even more politically and economically integrated, with the necessary institutions to back it up—is not a regime that all of the member nations would support at this time. Between these poles, however, there is a way forward: adopting a “flexible euro.”

This entails recognizing that there has been some progress in creating eurozone institutions since the euro crisis broke out, but not enough to make a single-currency system work. The flexible euro would build on these successes and create a system in which different countries (or groups of countries) could each have their own euro. The value of the different euros would fluctuate, but within bounds that the policies of the eurozone itself would affect. Over time, perhaps, with the evolution of sufficient solidarity, those bounds could be reduced, and eventually, the goal of a single currency set forth in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 would be achieved. But this time, with the requisite institutions in place, the single currency might actually achieve its goals of promoting prosperity, European solidarity, and political integration.

I won’t go into technical detail here about how a flexible euro would work in practice. Given the digital capabilities of modern financial management, creating the appropriate architecture is quite feasible. The essential point is that, under a flexible-euro system, the value of one country’s (or group’s) euro could vary relative to that of another’s. This is the flexibility in exchange rates that the current system lacks. At the lower exchange rate, the countries of southern Europe (for instance, Greece and Italy) could export more and would import less. Demand would increase, and with it incomes and employment. At the moment, the only way that they can achieve a balance between imports and exports is to depress the economy so much that consumers don’t buy much of anything—including goods from abroad. With a more flexible exchange rate, they could achieve trade balance and full employment.

Vir: Joseph Stiglitz, Vanity Fair

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