The economists' warning

Financial Times, September 23 2013

The European crisis continues to destroy jobs. By the end of 2013 there will be 19 million unemployed in the eurozone alone, over 7 million more than in 2008, an increase unprecedented since the end of World War II and one that will stretch on into 2014. The employment crisis strikes above all the peripheral member countries of the European Monetary Union, where an exceptional rise in bankruptcy is also under way, whereas Germany and the other central countries of the eurozone have instead witnessed growth on the job front [...] [full text in English]

The Economists' Warning (FT)

The economists' warning
Financial Times, September 23 2013

The European crisis continues to destroy jobs. By the end of 2013 there will be 19 million unemployed in the eurozone alone, over 7 million more than in 2008, an increase unprecedented since the end of World War II and one that will stretch on into 2014. The employment crisis strikes above all the peripheral member countries of the European Monetary Union, where an exceptional rise in bankruptcy is also under way, whereas Germany and the other central countries of the eurozone have instead witnessed growth on the job front. This asymmetry is one of the causes of Europe’s present-day political paralysis and the embarrassing succession of summit meetings that result in measures glaringly incapable of halting the processes of divergence under way. While this sluggishness of political response may appear justified in the less severe phases of the cycle and moments of respite on the financial market, it could have the most serious consequences in the long run.
As foreseen by part of the academic community, the crisis is revealing a number of contradictions in the institutions and policies of the European Monetary Union. The European authorities have taken a series of decisions that have in actual fact, contrary to announcements, helped to worsen the recession and widen the gaps between the member countries. In June 2010, when the first signs of the eurozone crisis became apparent, a letter signed by three hundred economists pointed out the inherent dangers of austerity policies, which would further depress the demand for goods and services as well as employment and incomes, thus making the payment of debts, both public and private, still more difficult. This alarm was, however, unheeded. The European authorities preferred to adopt the fanciful doctrine of “expansive austerity”, according to which budget cuts would restore the markets’ confidence in the solvency of the EU countries and thus lead to a drop in interest rates and economic recovery. As the International Monetary Fund itself recognises, we know today that the policies of austerity have actually deepened the crisis, causing a collapse of incomes in excess of the most widely-held expectations. Even the champions of “expansive austerity” now acknowledge their errors, but the damage is now largely done. 
The European authorities are, however, now making a new mistake. They appear to be convinced that the peripheral member countries can solve their problems by implementing “structural reforms”, which will supposedly reduce costs and prices, boost competitiveness, and hence foster export-driven recovery and a reduction of foreign debt. While this view does highlight some real problems, the belief that the solution put forward can safeguard European unity is an illusion. The deflationary policies applied in Germany and elsewhere to build up trade surpluses have worked for years, togeteher with other factors, to create huge imbalances in debt and credit between the eurozone countries. The correction of these imbalances would require concerted action on the part of all the member countries. Expecting the peripheral countries of Union to solve the problem unaided means requiring them to undergo a drop in wages and prices on such a scale as to cause a still more accentuated collapse of incomes and violent debt deflation with the concrete risk of causing new banking crises and crippling production in entire regions of Europe.
John Maynard Keynes opposed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 with these far-sighted words: “If we take the view that Germany must be kept impoverished and her children starved and crippled […] If we aim deliberately at the impoverishment of Central Europe, vengeance, I dare predict, will not limp.” Even though the positions are now reversed, with the peripheral countries in dire straits and Germany in a comparatively advantageous position, the current crisis presents more than one similarity with that terrible historical phase, which created the conditions for the rise of Nazism and World War II. All memory of those dreadful years appears to have been lost, however, as the German authorities and the other European governments are repeating the same mistakes as were made then. This short-sightedness is ultimately the primary reason for the waves of irrationalism currently sweeping over Europe, from the naive championing of flexible exchange rates as a cure for all ills to the more disturbing instances of ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic propaganda.
It is essential to realise that if the European authorities continue with policies of austerity and rely on structural reforms alone to restore balance, the fate of the euro will be sealed. The experience of the single currency will come to an end with repercussions on the continued existence of the European single market. In the absence of conditions for a reform of the financial system and a monetary and fiscal policy making it possible to develop a plan to revitalise public and private investment, counter the inequalities of income and between areas, and increase employment in the peripheral countries of the Union, the political decision makers will be left with nothing other than a crucial choice of alternative ways out of the euro.

Emiliano Brancaccio and Riccardo Realfonzo (Sannio University, promoters of “the economists’ warning”), Philip Arestis (University of Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College of London), Giuseppe Fontana (Leeds and Sannio Universities), James Galbraith (University of Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Eckhard Hein (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Alan Kirman (University of Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (University of Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Graz University), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School University, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University), Tony Thirlwall (University of Kent).

....and also: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino). 

La advertencia de los economistas

La advertencia de los economistas
Financial Times, 23 de septiembre de 2013

La crisis europea continúa destruyendo puestos de trabajo. Para finales del 2013 ya habrá 19 millones de desempleados en la eurozona, unos 7 millones más que en el año 2008. Se trata de un incremento sin precedentes desde el final de la II Guerra Mundial y que, presumiblemente, continuará durante el año 2014. La crisis del empleo golpea sobre todo a los países de la Unión Monetaria Europea situados en la periferia de ésta, donde también se ha producido un incremento excepcional en las quiebras de empresas, mientras que Alemania y el resto de los países centrales de la eurozona experimentan un crecimiento del empleo. Esta asimetría es una de las causas de la parálisis política que se observa en Europa actualmente y que ha quedado patente en la embarazosa sucesión de cumbres europeas que desembocan en última instancia en la adopción de medidas incapaces de poner freno a los procesos de divergencia creciente entre los dos grupos de países europeos antes señalados. Aunque esta lentitud de la respuesta política europea podría estar justificada en una fase menos severa del ciclo económico y en periodos de menor turbulencia en los mercados financieros, ésta no puede por menos que tener serias consecuencias negativas a largo plazo.
Tal y como una parte de la comunidad académica predijo, la crisis está poniendo de manifiesto una serie de profundas contradicciones en las instituciones y políticas de la Unión Monetaria Europea. En concreto, las autoridades europeas han adoptado un conjunto de decisiones que, contrariamente a sus anuncios, han contribuido a empeorar la recesión y a aumentar la brecha existente entre los países miembros. En junio de 2010, cuando los primeros signos de la crisis de la eurozona ya eran más que evidentes, una carta firmada por trescientos economistas avisaba entonces del peligro que entrañaban las políticas de austeridad pues éstas, decían ellos, contribuirían a deprimir aún más la demanda de bienes y servicios así como los niveles de empleo y renta dificultando con ello el necesario pago de la deuda generada, tanto pública como privada. Sin embargo, esta advertencia fue desoída. Las autoridades europeas prefirieron entonces adoptar la rocambolesca doctrina de la “austeridad expansiva” de acuerdo con la cual los recortes presupuestarios restaurarían la confianza de los mercados en la solvencia de los países de la UE, provocarían una reducción de los tipos de interés reales y, en última instancia, nos traerían la ansiada recuperación económica. Como recientemente ha reconocido el propio Fondo Monetario Internacional, ahora ya sabemos que las políticas de austeridad han agudizado la crisis económica, causando un colapso en los niveles de renta que ha superado con creces todas las expectativas creadas. Incluso los propios partidarios de la “austeridad expansiva” reconocen ahora sus errores. Sin embargo, el daño ya está hecho.
No obstante lo anterior, las autoridades europeas están volviendo a cometer el mismo error. Parecen estar convencidas de que los países de la periferia de la eurozona pueden resolver individualmente sus problemas realizando “reformas estructurales” supuestamente dirigidas a la reducción de costes productivos y precios, incrementar su competitividad y, por tanto, promover una recuperación basada en las exportaciones y la reducción de la deuda externa. Aunque este enfoque pone de relieve la existencia de algunos problemas, la creencia en que este tipo de política puede salvaguardar la unidad europea resulta, cuando menos, ilusorio. Las políticas macroeconómicas deflacionistas aplicadas en Alemania y otros países de la eurozona durante años con el fin de generar superávits comerciales, junto con otros factores, han ayudado a generar grandes desequilibrios en materia de deuda exterior y crédito entre los países de la eurozona. La corrección de estos desequilibrios requeriría una acción coordinada por parte de todos los países miembros. Creer que los países de la periferia de la Unión puedan resolver el problema económico que ahora les aflige sin asistencia de los demás implica que éstos tendrían que experimentar caídas de tal calibre en salarios y precios que, necesariamente, se produciría una caída aún más acentuada en sus niveles de renta así como una fuerte deflación de su deuda con el riesgo de que todo ello desemboque en una nueva oleada de crisis bancarias y en una paralización de la producción en regiones enteras de Europa.
John Maynard Keynes se opuso frontalmente al Tratado de Versalles en 1919 con estas palabras clarividentes: “Si adoptamos la posición consistente en que Alemania debe ser empobrecida, teniendo sus hijos que padecer hambre y quedar lisiados […] Si nos proponemos de forma deliberada empobrecer a la Europa Central, la venganza, me atrevo a predecir, no tardará en llegar”. Aunque la situación parece ser ahora la inversa, estando los países de la periferia en una encrucijada y con Alemania en una posición relativamente ventajosa frente a ellos, la actual crisis presenta más de una similitud con ese terrible periodo de la historia europea que generó las condiciones propicias para el surgimiento del Nazismo y el estallido de la II Guerra Mundial. Pareciera como si el recuerdo de aquellos espantosos años ya se hubiera desvanecido por completo pues las autoridades alemanas y otros gobiernos europeos están repitiendo precisamente los mismos errores que se cometieron entonces. Esta sorprendente cortedad de miras es, en última instancia, la razón principal de las oleadas de irracionalismo que azotan últimamente a Europa, desde la ingenua propuesta de establecer tipos de cambio flexibles como fórmula para resolver todos los problemas como los más preocupantes estallidos de ultranacionalismo y propaganda xenófobos.
Resulta esencial percatarse de que, si las autoridades europeas insisten en aplicar políticas de austeridad y depender sólo de las reformas estructurales para restablecer el equilibrio, pondrán el euro en grave peligro. La experiencia de la moneda única podría acabar, teniendo ello fuertes repercusiones en la futura existencia del mercado único. En la ausencia de condiciones para que una reforma del sistema financiero y la aplicación de las políticas monetaria y fiscal adecuadas hagan posible la aplicación de un plan para revitalizar la inversión pública y privada, hacer frente a las desigualdades de renta entre individuos y regiones, e incrementar los niveles de empleo en los países periféricos de la Unión, los políticos de algunos países periféricos acabarán quedándose sin otra posible alternativa que no sea la de enfrentarse a la difícil búsqueda de estrategias de salida del euro.

Emiliano Brancaccio and Riccardo Realfonzo (Sannio University, promoters of “the economists’ warning”), Philip Arestis (University of Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College of London), Giuseppe Fontana (Leeds and Sannio Universities), James Galbraith (University of Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Eckhard Hein (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Alan Kirman (University of Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (University of Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Graz University), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School University, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University), Tony Thirlwall (University of Kent).

....and also: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino). 

L’avertissement des économistes

L’avertissement des économistes
Financial Times, 23 septembre 2013

La crise européenne continue de détruire des emplois. A la fin 2013, il y aura 19 millions de chômeurs uniquement dans la zone euro, plus de 7 millions de plus qu’en 2008, soit une augmentation sans précédent depuis la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale, et qui se prolongera en 2014. La crise de l’emploi frappe avant tout les pays-membres périphériques de l’Union monétaire européenne, dans lesquels une augmentation exceptionnelle du nombre des faillites est également en cours, tandis que l’Allemagne et les autres pays centraux de la zone euro ont connu une croissance sur le front de l’emploi. Cette asymétrie est l’une des causes de la paralysie politique actuelle de l’Europe et d’une succession embarrassante de rencontres au sommet, qui débouchent sur des mesures incapables de stopper le processus de divergence en cours. Bien que cette lenteur de la réponse politique apparaisse légitime dans les phases moins aigues du cycle et dans les moments de répit sur les marchés financiers, elle pourrait avoir les conséquences les plus graves sur le long terme.
Comme l’avait présagé une partie de la communauté académique, la crise est révélatrice d’un certain nombre de contradictions dans les institutions et les politiques de l’Union monétaire européenne. Les autorités européennes ont pris une série de décisions qui, en réalité et contrairement aux annonces, ont contribué à aggraver la récession et à creuser les écarts entre les pays membres. En juin 2010, lorsque les premiers signes de crise de la zone euro sont devenus évidents, une lettre paraphée par trois cents économistes a souligné les dangers inhérents des politiques d’austérité, qui ne feraient que déprimer la demande de biens et de services ainsi que l’emploi et les revenus, rendant dès lors le remboursement des dettes, tant publiques que privées, encore plus difficile. Cette alerte est cependant restée lettre morte. Les autorités européennes ont préféré adopter la doctrine fantaisiste de « l’austérité expansive », selon laquelle les coupes budgétaires restaureraient la confiance des marchés dans la solvabilité des pays de l’UE et conduiraient ainsi à une baisse des taux d’intérêt et à une reprise économique. Comme le Fonds monétaire international le reconnaît lui-même, nous savons aujourd’hui que les politiques d’austérité ont en fait aggravé la crise, provoquant un effondrement des revenus au-delà des attentes les plus répandues. Même les champions de « l’austérité expansive » reconnaissent à présent leurs erreurs, mais le mal est maintenant déjà fait en grande partie.
Les autorités européennes sont pourtant en train de faire une nouvelle erreur. Elles semblent être convaincues que les pays-membres périphériques peuvent résoudre leurs problèmes par la mise en œuvre de « réformes structurelles », qui sont censées réduire les coûts et les prix, stimuler la compétitivité et, partant, favoriser une reprise économique tirée par les exportations et une réduction de la dette extérieure. Bien que ce point de vue mette en lumière certains problèmes réels, la conviction que la solution proposée puisse sauvegarder l’unité européenne est une illusion. Les politiques déflationnistes appliquées en Allemagne et ailleurs, pour accumuler des excédents commerciaux, ont contribué pendant des années, avec d’autres facteurs, à la création d’énormes déséquilibres entre pays débiteurs et pays créditeurs au sein de la zone euro. La correction de ces déséquilibres requerrait une action concertée de la part de tous les pays membres. Imaginer que les pays périphériques de l’Union puissent résoudre les problèmes seuls signifie les obliger à subir une diminution des salaires et des prix d’une ampleur telle à provoquer un effondrement encore plus marqué des revenus ainsi qu’une déflation par la dette, avec le risque concret de provoquer de nouvelles crises bancaires et de paralyser la production dans des régions entières de l’Europe.
John Maynard Keynes s’est opposé au Traité de Versailles en 1919 en ces termes clairvoyants : «Si nous partons du principe que l’Allemagne doit rester pauvre et ses enfants affamés et paralysés […] Si nous cherchons délibérément l’appauvrissement de l’Europe centrale, la vengeance, j’ose le prédire, ne claudiquera pas». Même si les positions sont désormais inversées, avec les pays de la périphérie dans une situation désespérée et l’Allemagne dans une position relativement avantageuse, la crise actuelle présente plus d’une similitude avec cette terrible phase historique, qui a créé les conditions de la montée du nazisme et de la Seconde guerre mondiale. Toute la mémoire de ces épouvantables années semble néanmoins avoir été perdue, puisque les autorités allemandes et les autres gouvernements européens ne font que répéter les erreurs du passé. Cette myopie est finalement la principale raison des vagues d’irrationalisme qui déferlent actuellement sur l’Europe, de la défense naïve des taux de change flexibles comme remède à tous les maux aux cas les plus inquiétants de la propagande ultra-nationaliste et xénophobe.
Il est essentiel de comprendre que si les autorités européennes continuent avec des politiques d’austérité et s’appuient uniquement sur les réformes structurelles pour restaurer l’équilibre, le sort de l’euro sera scellé. L’expérience de la monnaie unique prendra fin et cela aura des conséquences sur l’existence du marché unique européen. En l’absence de conditions pour une réforme du système financier ainsi que d’une politique monétaire et budgétaire permettant d’élaborer un plan pour revitaliser l’investissement public et privé, lutter contre les inégalités de revenu et les inégalités régionales, et pour accroître l’emploi dans les pays périphériques de l’Union, les décideurs politiques se retrouveront sans rien d’autre qu’un choix crucial de voies alternatives hors de l’euro.

Emiliano Brancaccio et Riccardo Realfonzo (Université du Sannio, promoteurs de “l’avertissement des économistes”), Philip Arestis (Université de Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College de Londres), Giuseppe Fontana (Universités du Sannio et de Leeds), James Galbraith (Université du Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Université polytechnique des Marches), Eckhard Hein (Ecole d’économie et de droit de Berlin), Alan Kirman (Université de Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (Université de Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Université de Graz), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Université Complutense de Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Institut Levy), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Université de Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Université de Kingston), Tony Thirlwall (Université du Kent).
 
...et aussi: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino). 

The economists' warning

The economists' warning
Financial Times, September 23 2013

The European crisis continues to destroy jobs. By the end of 2013 there will be 19 million unemployed in the eurozone alone, over 7 million more than in 2008, an increase unprecedented since the end of World War II and one that will stretch on into 2014. The employment crisis strikes above all the peripheral member countries of the European Monetary Union, where an exceptional rise in bankruptcy is also under way, whereas Germany and the other central countries of the eurozone have instead witnessed growth on the job front. This asymmetry is one of the causes of Europe’s present-day political paralysis and the embarrassing succession of summit meetings that result in measures glaringly incapable of halting the processes of divergence under way. While this sluggishness of political response may appear justified in the less severe phases of the cycle and moments of respite on the financial market, it could have the most serious consequences in the long run.
As foreseen by part of the academic community, the crisis is revealing a number of contradictions in the institutions and policies of the European Monetary Union. The European authorities have taken a series of decisions that have in actual fact, contrary to announcements, helped to worsen the recession and widen the gaps between the member countries. In June 2010, when the first signs of the eurozone crisis became apparent, a letter signed by three hundred economists pointed out the inherent dangers of austerity policies, which would further depress the demand for goods and services as well as employment and incomes, thus making the payment of debts, both public and private, still more difficult. This alarm was, however, unheeded. The European authorities preferred to adopt the fanciful doctrine of “expansive austerity”, according to which budget cuts would restore the markets’ confidence in the solvency of the EU countries and thus lead to a drop in interest rates and economic recovery. As the International Monetary Fund itself recognises, we know today that the policies of austerity have actually deepened the crisis, causing a collapse of incomes in excess of the most widely-held expectations. Even the champions of “expansive austerity” now acknowledge their errors, but the damage is now largely done. 
The European authorities are, however, now making a new mistake. They appear to be convinced that the peripheral member countries can solve their problems by implementing “structural reforms”, which will supposedly reduce costs and prices, boost competitiveness, and hence foster export-driven recovery and a reduction of foreign debt. While this view does highlight some real problems, the belief that the solution put forward can safeguard European unity is an illusion. The deflationary policies applied in Germany and elsewhere to build up trade surpluses have worked for years, togeteher with other factors, to create huge imbalances in debt and credit between the eurozone countries. The correction of these imbalances would require concerted action on the part of all the member countries. Expecting the peripheral countries of Union to solve the problem unaided means requiring them to undergo a drop in wages and prices on such a scale as to cause a still more accentuated collapse of incomes and violent debt deflation with the concrete risk of causing new banking crises and crippling production in entire regions of Europe.
John Maynard Keynes opposed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 with these far-sighted words: “If we take the view that Germany must be kept impoverished and her children starved and crippled […] If we aim deliberately at the impoverishment of Central Europe, vengeance, I dare predict, will not limp.” Even though the positions are now reversed, with the peripheral countries in dire straits and Germany in a comparatively advantageous position, the current crisis presents more than one similarity with that terrible historical phase, which created the conditions for the rise of Nazism and World War II. All memory of those dreadful years appears to have been lost, however, as the German authorities and the other European governments are repeating the same mistakes as were made then. This short-sightedness is ultimately the primary reason for the waves of irrationalism currently sweeping over Europe, from the naive championing of flexible exchange rates as a cure for all ills to the more disturbing instances of ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic propaganda.
It is essential to realise that if the European authorities continue with policies of austerity and rely on structural reforms alone to restore balance, the fate of the euro will be sealed. The experience of the single currency will come to an end with repercussions on the continued existence of the European single market. In the absence of conditions for a reform of the financial system and a monetary and fiscal policy making it possible to develop a plan to revitalise public and private investment, counter the inequalities of income and between areas, and increase employment in the peripheral countries of the Union, the political decision makers will be left with nothing other than a crucial choice of alternative ways out of the euro.

Emiliano Brancaccio and Riccardo Realfonzo (Sannio University, promoters of “the economists’ warning”), Philip Arestis (University of Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College of London), Giuseppe Fontana (Leeds and Sannio Universities), James Galbraith (University of Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Eckhard Hein (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Alan Kirman (University of Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (University of Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Graz University), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School University, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University), Tony Thirlwall (University of Kent).

....and also: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino). 

Il monito degli economisti

Il monito degli economisti
Financial Times, 23 settembre 2013

La crisi economica in Europa continua a distruggere posti di lavoro. Alla fine del 2013 i disoccupati saranno 19 milioni nella sola zona euro, oltre 7 milioni in più rispetto al 2008: un incremento che non ha precedenti dal secondo dopoguerra e che proseguirà anche nel 2014. La crisi occupazionale affligge soprattutto i paesi periferici dell’Unione monetaria europea, dove si verifica anche un aumento eccezionale delle sofferenze bancarie e dei fallimenti aziendali; la Germania e gli altri paesi centrali dell’eurozona hanno invece visto crescere i livelli di occupazione. Il carattere asimmetrico della crisi è una delle cause dell’attuale stallo politico europeo e dell’imbarazzante susseguirsi di vertici dai quali scaturiscono provvedimenti palesemente inadeguati a contrastare i processi di divergenza in corso. Una ignavia politica che può sembrare giustificata nelle fasi meno aspre del ciclo e di calma apparente sui mercati finanziari, ma che a lungo andare avrà le più gravi conseguenze.
Come una parte della comunità accademica aveva previsto, la crisi sta rivelando una serie di contraddizioni nell’assetto istituzionale e politico dell’Unione monetaria europea. Le autorità europee hanno compiuto scelte che, contrariamente agli annunci, hanno contribuito all’inasprimento della recessione e all’ampliamento dei divari tra i paesi membri dell’Unione. Nel giugno 2010, ai primi segni di crisi dell’eurozona, una lettera sottoscritta da trecento economisti lanciò un allarme sui pericoli insiti nelle politiche di “austerità”: tali politiche avrebbero ulteriormente depresso l’occupazione e i redditi, rendendo ancora più difficili i rimborsi dei debiti, pubblici e privati. Quell’allarme rimase tuttavia inascoltato. Le autorità europee preferirono aderire alla fantasiosa dottrina dell’“austerità espansiva”, secondo cui le restrizioni dei bilanci pubblici avrebbero ripristinato la fiducia dei mercati sulla solvibilità dei paesi dell’Unione, favorendo così la diminuzione dei tassi d’interesse e la ripresa economica. Come ormai rileva anche il Fondo Monetario Internazionale, oggi sappiamo che in realtà le politiche di austerity hanno accentuato la crisi, provocando un tracollo dei redditi superiore alle attese prevalenti. Gli stessi fautori della “austerità espansiva” adesso riconoscono i loro sbagli, ma il disastro è in larga misura già compiuto.
C’è tuttavia un nuovo errore che le autorità europee stanno commettendo. Esse appaiono persuase dall’idea che i paesi periferici dell’Unione potrebbero risolvere i loro problemi  attraverso le cosiddette “riforme strutturali”. Tali riforme dovrebbero ridurre i costi e i prezzi, aumentare la competitività e favorire quindi una ripresa trainata dalle esportazioni e una riduzione dei debiti verso l’estero. Questa tesi coglie alcuni problemi reali, ma è illusorio pensare che la soluzione prospettata possa salvaguardare l’unità europea. Le politiche deflattive praticate in Germania e altrove per accrescere l’avanzo commerciale hanno contribuito per anni, assieme ad altri fattori, all’accumulo di enormi squilibri nei rapporti di debito e credito tra i paesi della zona euro. Il riassorbimento di tali squilibri richiederebbe un’azione coordinata da parte di tutti i membri dell’Unione. Pensare che i soli paesi periferici debbano farsi carico del problema significa pretendere da questi una caduta dei salari e dei prezzi di tale portata da determinare un crollo ancora più accentuato dei redditi e una violenta deflazione da debiti, con il rischio concreto di nuove crisi bancarie e di una desertificazione produttiva di intere regioni europee.
Nel 1919 John Maynard Keynes contestò il Trattato di Versailles con parole lungimiranti: «Se diamo per scontata la convinzione che la Germania debba esser tenuta in miseria, i suoi figli rimanere nella fame e nell’indigenza […], se miriamo deliberatamente alla umiliazione dell’Europa centrale, oso farmi profeta, la vendetta non tarderà». Sia pure a parti invertite, con i paesi periferici al tracollo e la Germania in posizione di relativo vantaggio, la crisi attuale presenta più di una analogia con quella tremenda fase storica, che creò i presupposti per l’ascesa del nazismo e la seconda guerra mondiale. Ma la memoria di quegli anni sembra persa: le autorità tedesche e gli altri governi europei stanno ripetendo errori speculari a quelli commessi allora. Questa miopia, in ultima istanza, è la causa principale delle ondate di irrazionalismo che stanno investendo l’Europa, dalle ingenue apologie del cambio flessibile quale panacea di ogni male fino ai più inquietanti sussulti di propagandismo ultranazionalista e xenofobo.  
Occorre esser consapevoli che proseguendo con le politiche di “austerità” e affidando il riequilibrio alle sole “riforme strutturali”, il destino dell’euro sarà segnato: l’esperienza della moneta unica si esaurirà, con ripercussioni sulla tenuta del mercato unico europeo. In assenza di condizioni per una riforma del sistema finanziario e della politica monetaria e fiscale che dia vita a un piano di rilancio degli investimenti pubblici e privati, contrasti le sperequazioni tra i redditi e tra i territori e risollevi l’occupazione nelle periferie dell’Unione, ai decisori politici non resterà altro che una scelta cruciale tra modalità alternative di uscita dall’euro.

Promosso da Emiliano Brancaccio e Riccardo Realfonzo (Università del Sannio), il “monito degli economisti” è sottoscritto da Philip Arestis (University of Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College of London), Giuseppe Fontana (Leeds and Sannio Universities), James Galbraith (University of Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Eckhard Hein (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Alan Kirman (University of Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (University of Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Graz University), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School University, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University), Tony Thirlwall (University of Kent).

....ed anche: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino). 

Warnung der Volkswirte

Warnung der Volkswirte
Financial Times, September 23 2013

Die europäische Krise vernichtet weiterhin Arbeitsplätze. Bis zum Ende des Jahres 2013 wird es allein in der Eurozone 19 Millionen Arbeitslose geben, über 7 Millionen mehr als im Jahr 2008. Dieser Anstieg, der sich auch 2014 fortsetzen wird, ist beispiellos seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Die Krise auf dem Arbeitsmarkt trifft vor allem die Mitgliedsländer der Peripherie der Europäischen Währungsunion, wo ebenfalls ein außergewöhnlicher Anstieg der Konkurse zu beobachten ist, während Deutschland und die anderen zentralen Länder der Eurozone Verbesserungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt zu verzeichnen haben. Diese Asymmetrie ist eine der Ursachen der gegenwärtigen politischen Lähmung Europas und der peinlichen Abfolge von Gipfeltreffen, die Maßnahmen hervor brachten, die offensichtlich nicht in der Lage waren, diesen Divergenzprozess zu stoppen. Während diese Trägheit der politischen Reaktionen in weniger schlimmen Phasen der Konjunktur und in Momenten der Erholung an den Finanzmärkten gerechtfertigt erscheinen mag, könnte sie die schwerwiegendsten Auswirkungen auf lange Sicht haben.
Wie durch einen Teil der akademischen Gemeinschaft vorhergesehen, enthüllt die Krise eine Reihe von Widersprüchen in den Institutionen und Politiken der Europäischen Währungsunion. Die europäische Politik hat eine Reihe von Entscheidungen getroffen, die, im Gegensatz zu den Ankündigungen, dazu beigetragen haben, die Rezession zu verschlimmern und die Unterschiede zwischen den Mitgliedsländern zu verstärkten. Im Juni 2010, als die ersten Anzeichen der Krise in der Eurozone deutlich wurden, wies ein Brief von dreihundert Ökonomen auf die inhärenten Gefahren der Austeritätspolitik hin, die die Nachfrage nach Gütern und Dienstleistungen weiter reduzieren sowie Beschäftigung und Einkommen dämpfen würde. Hierdurch würde die Bedienung von öffentlichen und privaten Schulden weiter erschwert. Diese Warnung blieb jedoch unbeachtet. Die europäische Politik bevorzugte die fantasievolle Doktrin der "expansiven Sparpolitik", nach der öffentliche Budgetkürzungen das Vertrauen der Märkte in die Zahlungsfähigkeit der EU-Länder wieder herstellen würden und damit zu einem Rückgang der Zinssätze und zur wirtschaftlichen Erholung führen würden. Wie nun auch der Internationale Währungsfonds selbst erkannt hat, wissen wir heute, dass die Politik der Sparmaßnahmen tatsächlich die Krise vertieft hat, was zu einem Einbruch der Einkommen weit über die Erwartungen hinaus geführt hat. Auch die Verfechter der "expansiven Sparpolitik" erkennen jetzt ihre Fehler, aber der Schaden ist nun einmal angerichtet.
Die europäische Politik macht nun jedoch einen neuen Fehler. Man scheint davon überzeugt zu sein, dass die Mitgliedsländer der Peripherie ihre Probleme durch die Implementierung von "Strukturreformen" lösen können. Diese sollen angeblich Kosten und Preise senken, die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit steigern und damit eine exportorientierte Erholung und eine Reduzierung der Auslandsschulden fördern. Während diese Sicht auf einige reale Probleme aufmerksam macht, ist die Überzeugung, dass die damit verbundenen Maßnahmen die europäische Einheit bewahren, eine Illusion. Die deflationäre, auf Handelsbilanzüberschüsse abzielende Politik in Deutschland und anderen Ländern hat, zusammen mit anderen Faktoren, zu großen Kredit- und Verschuldungsungleichgewichten zwischen den Ländern der Eurozone geführt. Die Korrektur dieser Ungleichgewichte würde eine konzertierte Aktion aller Mitgliedsländer erfordern. Zu erwarten, dass die peripheren Länder der Währungsunion das Problem ohne Unterstützung lösen, bedeutet, von ihnen zu verlangen, dass Löhne und Preise in einem solchen Umfang zurückgehen, dass ein weiterer Einbruch der Einkommen erfolgt und eine gewaltige Schuldendeflation verursacht wird. Dies birgt dann die konkrete Gefahr neuer Bankenkrisen und einer Lähmung der Produktion in ganzen Regionen Europas.
John Maynard Keynes hat gegen den Vertrag von Versailles im Jahr 1919 mit folgenden weitsichtigen Worten argumentiert: “If we take the view that Germany must be kept impoverished and her children starved and crippled […] If we aim deliberately at the impoverishment of Central Europe, vengeance, I dare predict, will not limp.” Auch wenn die Verhältnisse nun umgekehrt sind, mit den Ländern der Peripherie in einer Notlage und Deutschland in einer vergleichsweise günstigen Situation, präsentiert die aktuelle Krise mehr als nur eine Ähnlichkeit mit dieser schrecklichen historischen Phase, welche die Voraussetzung für den Aufstieg des Nationalsozialismus und den Zweiten Weltkrieg bildete. Alle Erinnerung an jene schrecklichen Jahre scheint jedoch verloren gegangen zu sein, denn die deutsche und die anderen europäischen Regierungen wiederholen die gleichen Fehler wie damals. Diese Kurzsichtigkeit ist letztlich der Hauptgrund für die Wellen des Irrationalismus die derzeit über Europa herein brechen, von dem naiven Eintreten für flexible Wechselkurse als Heilmittel für alle Übel bis zu den beunruhigenden Fällen ultra-nationalistischer und fremdenfeindlicher Propaganda.
Es ist wichtig zu erkennen, dass dann, wenn die europäische Politik sich allein auf Sparmaßnahmen und Strukturreformen verlässt, um ein Gleichgewicht wiederherzustellen, das Schicksal des Euros besiegelt sein wird. Die Erfahrung einer gemeinsamen Währung wird zu einem Ende kommen, mit Auswirkungen auf den Fortbestand des europäischen Binnenmarkts. In Abwesenheit einer entscheidenden Reform des Finanzsystems und einer Geld-und Fiskalpolitik, die es ermöglicht, öffentliche und private Investitionen zu beleben, Einkommensungleichheiten und Ungleichheiten zwischen den Regionen zu begegnen, und die Beschäftigung in den peripheren Ländern der Währungsunion zu steigern, wird den politischen Entscheidungsträger nichts anderes, als eine schwere Entscheidung über alternative Wege aus der Euro übrig bleiben.

Emiliano Brancaccio und Riccardo Realfonzo (Sannio University), Philip Arestis (University of Cambridge), Wendy Carlin (University College of London), Giuseppe Fontana (Leeds and Sannio Universities), James Galbraith (University of Texas), Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Eckhard Hein (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Alan Kirman (University of Aix-Marseille III), Jan Kregel (University of Tallin), Heinz Kurz (Graz University), Theodore Mariolis (Panteion University, Athens), Alfonso Palacio-Vera (Universidad Complutense Madrid), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute), Pascal Petit (Université de Paris Nord), Dani Rodrik (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Malcolm Sawyer (Leeds University), Willi Semmler (New School University, New York), Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University), Tony Thirlwall (University of Kent).

...und auch: Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Institute), Georgios Argeitis (Athens University), Jean-Luc Bailly (Université de Bourgogne), Stefano Bartolini (University of Siena), Amit Bhaduri (Javaharlal Nehru University), Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mario Cassetti (University of Brescia), Julio Castellanos (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Giuseppe Celi (University of Foggia), Laura Chies (University of Trieste), Paulo Coimbra (University of Coimbra), Eugenia Correa (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romar Correa (University of Mumbai), Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome), Terenzio Cozzi (Università di Torino), Jerome Creel (OFCE, Paris), Apostolos Dedoussopoulos (Panteion University, Athens), José Deniz (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Fedele De Novellis (Ref Ricerche), Pat Devine (University of Manchester), Henk de Vos (University of Groningen), Davide Di Laurea (Istat), Amedeo Di Maio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale), Carlo D'Ippoliti (Università Sapienza di Roma), Denis Dupre (University of Grenoble Alps), Dirk Ehnts (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Eladio Febrero (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Aldo Femia (Istat), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country), Stefano Figuera (Università di Catania), Lia Fubini (Università di Torino), Stefania Gabriele (CNR-ISSiRFA), Nadia Garbellini (Università di Pavia), Jorge Garcia-Arias (University of Leon), Giorgio Gattei (Università di Bologna), PierGiorgio Gawronski (Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione, Roma), Christian Gehrke (University of Graz), Andrea Ginzburg (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Claudio Gnesutta (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI-DSAS, Switzerland), Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart), Greg Hannsgen (Levy Economics Institute), Peter Howells (UWE, Bristol), Jesper Jespersen (Roskilde University), Matteo Jessoula (Università di Milano), Bruno Jossa (Università Federico II, Napoli), Jakob Kapeller (University of Linz), Nikolaos Karagiannis (Winston-Salem State University), Steve Keen, Stephanie Kelton (University of Missouri), John King (La Trobe University), Hagen M. Kramer (University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe), Christian Lager (Graz University), Dany Lang (CEPN, Paris), Kazimierz Laski (University of Linz), Joelle Leclaire (SUNY Buffalo State), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo), Rasigan Maharajh (Tshwane University of Technology), Cristina Marcuzzo (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Michela Massaro (Università del Sannio), Martina Metzger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Jo Michell (UWE, Bristol), Thomas Michl (Colgate University, NY), Lisandro Mondino (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Basil Moore (Stellenbosch University), Mario Noera (Università Bocconi, Milano), Guido Ortona (Università del Piemonte Orientale), Paolo Palazzi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Sergio Parrinello (Università La Sapienza Roma), Stefano Perri (Università di Macerata), Paolo Pettenati (Istao e Università Politecnica delle Marche), Anna Pettini (University of Florence), Antonella Picchio (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Gustavo Piga (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'), Paolo Pini (Università di Ferrara), Fabio Petri (Università di Siena), Francesco Piro (Università di Bologna), C. J. Polychroniou (Levy Economics Institute), Nicolas Pons-Vignon (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), Pier Luigi Porta (University of Milano Bicocca), Aderak Quintana (Universidad autonoma de Zacatecas), Srinivas Raghavendra (National University of Ireland, Galway), Paolo Ramazzotti (Università di Macerata), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg), Alberto Russo (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome), Francesco Saraceno (OFCE, Paris), Domenico Scalera (Università del Sannio), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Felipe Serrano (University of the Basque Country), Riccardo Soliani (Università di Genova), Francesca Stroffolini (Università Federico II di Napoli), Andrea Terzi (Franklin College Switzerland), Mario Tiberi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Guido Tortorella Esposito (Università del Sannio), Domenica Tropeano (University of Macerata), Achim Truger (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Lefteris Tsoulfidis (University of Macedonia), Faruk Ulgen (University of Grenoble), Leanne Ussher (City University, New York), Bernard Vallageas (Université Paris Sud), Carmen Vaucher de la Croix (SUPSI, Lugano), Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University), Carmen Vita (Università del Sannio), Yulia Vymyatnina (European University at St.Petersburg), Herbert Walther (Vienna University), Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), James Young (Edinboro University), Grigoris Zarotiadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloníki), Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Institute and Università di Cassino).