Financial Times je objavil odgovor bralca, ki mu je makrokonomija očitno dokaj jasna. Zelo natančno definira problem sedanjega neravnotežja v evro območju in pravilno ugotavlja, da je znotraj evro območja mogoče vzpostaviti ravnotežje zgolj, če Nemčija spodbudi rast inflacije (in/ali plač), saj druge države ne morejo iti še bolj v deflacijo.
(Kdaj bodo naši bralci na tem nivoju razumevanja?)
Toda ta “nemški problem” ni rešljiv znotraj evro območja, saj Nemčija nikoli ne bo prostovoljno začela povečevati javnih izdatkov ali spodbudila rasti plač in inflacije. Rešitev je bržkone le v uvedbi menjalnega tečaja med Nemčijo in ostalimi članicami evro območja – torej v razpadu evra.
Jens Spahn (“Thanks for the advice but we prefer fiscal discipline”, October 18) is highly satisfied with the performance of the German economy and its supposed role as an “anchor of stability for the EU”. Not even Keynes, he says, would have recommended that Germany indulge in deficit spending at this point.
Strangely missing from his article is Germany’s extraordinary current account surplus — now the largest in the world, amounting to 8.5 per cent of gross domestic product this year according to the International Monetary Fund. Mr Spahn boasts of Germany’s low unemployment, but the combination of a large current account surplus and low unemployment are classically symptomatic of an undervalued currency.
Since Germany does not have an exchange rate — apart from via the euro, which it shares with 18 other countries — the only way to correct this problem is through higher inflation in Germany than in its trading partners, including its partners in the eurozone. Since inflation can hardly be reduced further in its partner countries — it is already rock-bottom, and negative in some cases, and thus obstructing the reduction of debt burdens — inflation needs to rise in Germany if balance in the eurozone is to be restored. Increased wage growth, from its recent 1 per cent a year rate, through fiscally induced increased demand is needed to produce this outcome.
As long as Germany continues to neglect this simple truth, it will be not an “anchor of stability” but remain a source of instability in the eurozone.
And perhaps Mr Spahn has forgotten Keynes’s view that effective international adjustment of payments imbalances requires surplus, as well as deficit, countries to face their responsibilities, and that countries with large payments surpluses should be charged penalties if they did not?
Vir: Graham Hacche