Je Draghi res rešil evro? Ali zgolj zamaskiral norost nedelujoče monetarne unije?

Ashoka Mody, nekdanji visoki predstavnik IMF za Evropo in avtor knjige “EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts” v zadnjem komentarju ni prizanesljiv z Mariem Draghijem, ki je oktobra končal 8-letni amndat predsednika ECB. Pravi, da Draghi ni rešil evra, pač pa, da je njegov “whatever it takes” iz julija 2012 učinkovito umiril špekulativne napade finančnih trgov na obveznice perifernih evrskih držav zgolj zato, ker je Draghija že naslednji dan močno podprla nemška kanclerka Angela Merkel.

In naprej, Mody pravi, da je Draghi s svojo nekonvencionalno monetarno politiko (najprej Outright Monetary Transactions – OMT in od 2015 naprej APP – Asset Purchase Programme) zgolj zamaskiral “norost” nedelujoče monetarne unije. Pri tem pa APP (kvantitativno sproščanje z odkupom državnih obveznic) sploh ni deloval – ni uspel odlepiti core inflacije od 1%, niti ni uspel zagnati gospodarske rasti. Rast je upadla takoj, ko je Kitajska umaknila svoje stimulativne ukrepe.

Mody gre še korak naprej in pravi, da je APP program imel zelo diferencialne in divergentne učinke na posamezne članice, če upoštevamo različne inflacijske stopnje po državah. V Nemčji, ki je imela zaradi solidne rasti inflacijo okrog 1.5%, je APP program realne obrestne mere spustil na minus 1.5% in s tem dodatno stimuliral rast. V Italiji, kjer zaradi gospodarske stagnacije bila inflacija zgolj okrog 0.5%, pa je APP znižal realne obrestne mere na plus 1.5%, medtem ko bi Italija potrebovala negativne realne obrestne mere (med -2% in -3%). Draghijev APP program naj bi torej pomagal že močnim državam, šibkim pa ni omogočil rasti.

Draghi torej naj ne bi bil rešitelj evra, pač pa je zgolj vzdrževal mit neke monetarne integracije, ki ne deluje in ne more delovati v takšnem institucionalnem okvirju (brez fiskalne in transferne unije). To, da evrska unija ne deluje, kažejo empirične študije, saj evro ne spodbuja rasti med članicami (glejte tukaj, tukaj, and tukaj), kot so bila zmotna politična pričakovanja pred uvedbo. Trgovina med članicami evra, denimo med Nemčijo in Francijo ter Italijo se v deležu skupne trgovine zmanjšuje, povečuje pa se trgovina s članicami EU, ki nimajo evra.

Z Modyjem se z večino argumentov sicer strinjam, ne pa tudi z glavno poanto. Kot sem pred tedni že napisal, res ne moremo pritrditi temu, da je program APP uspel dvigniti rast in inflacijo, vendar pa lahko Draghiju pripišemo zasluge za to, da evrska monetarna unija (še) ni razpadla. Če ne bi bilo programa APP, ki je odkupoval predvsem obveznice najšibkejših evrskih držav in v katerem portfelju je polovica vseh obveznic italijanskih, bi te najšibkejše članice postale nelikvidne in kmalu nesolventne. Kar bi seveda sprožilo recesijo in politične turbulence ter prisililo te države, da zapustijo evro.

Kratko in grobo rečeno: Draghijev program je pač omogočil, da je Italija ostala nad vodo. Utapljala se je pa zato, ker ji evro ne daje potrebnega manevrskega prostora za prilagajanje. Za Italijo politično pač ni izvedljivo, da prilagajanje naredi prek fiskalnega stiskanja, depresije, deflacije in znižanja plač (notranja devalvacija), kar je edina možnost prilagajanja znotraj okvirja skupne valute.

Mody ne vidi prihodnosti za evrsko monetarno integracijo. Za morebitne Združene države Evrope ne vidi iste evolucije, kot so jo naredile ZDA med vojno za neodvisnost (1776) in ratifikacijo ameriške ustave (1788). Pač pa da se ji bo perpetualno ponavljal “Groundhog day” – evropska konfederacija se bo vsak dan zbudila v povsem enak dan nedelujoče monetarne unije in političnih manter o uspešnosti evropske integracije.

Spodaj je nekaj odlomkov iz Modyjevega komentarja.

ECB quantitative easing did not help raise economic growth either. Growth languished until late 2016, when it picked up because Europe benefited from a China-induced boost in world trade. Draghi and other European leaders took credit: in November 2017, Draghi said that ECB monetary policy had helped create ‘unabated growth’. But the self-congratulation was disingenuous, and the celebration proved to be premature. In early 2018, China dialed back its domestic stimulus, world trade began to slow, and so did the European economies. Despite that slowdown, in June 2018, Draghi declared that eurozone inflation and growth were set to rise and, therefore, it was time to bring QE to an end.

Thus, ECB had wasted its QE firepower and achieved little, if anything at all.

In January 2019, Draghi endeared himself to his pro-European admirers by perpetuating long-refuted myths. By now, multiple studies (here, here, and here) had confirmed that the euro had not promoted greater trade among its member states, despite frequent claims that it had done so. Draghi had made such a claim in November 2013. But by January 2019, the evidence to the contrary was overwhelming. Draghi even said that a single European currency was essential for a single market. This was also not true. Germany’s fastest growing trade within the European single market was with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – three countries that had not adopted the euro. In contrast, Germany’s trade share with France and Italy, two original euro members, was falling.

Draghi made other claims. He said that countries that had their own monetary policies made a mess of things. Also not true. Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom – three countries very different in economic development, size, and political philosophy – had done a good, even remarkable, job with their monetary policy management. And he offered the discredited but self-incriminating defence: the single currency was needed to prop up the egregious common agricultural policy – the dark blot on Europe’s much-touted environmental and humanitarian values.

By the time of the ECB Governing Council meeting in September 2019, the growth slowdown had continued, but the ECB had run out of rope. The ECB resumed quantitative easing, although with interest rates already very low, the additional bond purchases could do little to stimulate spending. The low rates did do damage though. They hurt euro-area banks whose lending rates had fallen faster than the rates they paid on the deposits they received. Making matters worse, the ECB lowered its own deposit rate to -0.5 per cent. Banks had to pay a maximum of 0.5 per cent if they parked their funds at the ECB. This measure was intended to induce banks to lend instead of keeping their money idle. But with weak demand, some banks preferred to keep their money idle at the ECB’s negative deposit rates, which chewed further into the banks’ profitability. Thus, Draghi, in his bid to chalk up one last triumph, made the mess worse. By now, several banks were trading at market-to-book value ratios well below one, implying that financial markets valued banks’ assets much less than the banks themselves did.

Draghi wins applause in the EU bubble

On October 28, at the star-studded farewell party, Merkel praised Draghi for navigating the euro through ‘restless seas’. French president Emmanuel Macron lauded Draghi for keeping alive the ‘European dream’. Italian president Sergio Mattarella, speaking from his alternative reality, declared that the vibrant Italian economy and sound Italian banking sector were a tribute to the euro, led by Draghi.

The stage was now set to elevate Draghi the saviour to the ranks of recent European saints, which include former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former European Commission President Jacques Delors. Following their lead, Draghi mind-numbingly repeated at his farewell: ‘The euro is an eminently political project, a fundamental step towards the goal of greater political integration.’

What is this fairytale ‘political project?’ What is ‘greater political integration?’ Is the destination a federal United States of Europe? Or will Europe remain a confederation of states, in the manner of the United States between the War of Independence in 1776 to ratification of the constitution in 1788? If Europe’s postwar history is a guide, Europe is destined, for now, to stay a confederation of states, in which case it will remain trapped in repetitive Groundhog Day-style mantras that European leaders love to repeat.

Vir: Ashoka Mody, Spiked

One response

  1. Osebno me med drugimj jez, ker je Nemčija imela po združitvi resne gospodarske probleme, ki jih je takrat, v konjunkturi, prebrodila z varčevalnimi ukrepi in celo s kršenjem dogovorjenega v evropski monetarni uniji (EMU). Dogovorjeno je bilo, da vsaka država povišuje plače glede na njeno specifično porast produktivnosti in inflacijo. V tistem času se Nemčija tega ni držala. Nasprotno plače je znižala! Tako je postala konkurenčna v vseh tistih državah, ki so se dogovora EMU držale.

    Z uvedbo evra pa je postala konkurenčna v svetovnem merilu. Za Nemčijo je bil evro podcenjena valuta, kar ji je omogočlo odličen izvoz. V tem primeru je bil in je evro podcenjen zato, ker mu vrednost znižujejo države s proračunskim mankom. Še več! To ji ni zadostovalo, zahtevala je neoliberalne gospodarske reforme, beri, znižanje javne porabe in privatizacija, kjer si je za bagatelo prisvajala narodna premoženja deficitarnih držav.

    Situacija je bila taka: Nemčija je imela proračunski višek (dosegla je celo viške do 8 odstotkov) tudi na račun proračunskega manka držav evrskega območja, od katerih je zahteva uveljavljenje fiskalnega pravila. Proračunski presežek je enako škodljiv kot proračunski primanjkljaj v državah z eno valuto (evro). Čudno, zakaj pa niso uvedli fiskalno pravilo za proračunske viške?

%d bloggers like this: