Gor­di­scher Knoten der Eurozone?

Martin Sandbu von der FT ist ein Freund der Eurozone. Immer wieder bemüht er sich in seinen Bei­trägen kon­struktiv, den Euro-Führern die rich­tigen Hin­weise zu geben, wie sie das Kon­strukt doch noch retten können. So auch in diesem Kom­mentar. Was ich gut finde, ist, dass er die großen Ideen unserer Öko­nomen für nicht geeignet hält und sich lieber auf prag­ma­ti­schere Lösungen fokussiert:

  • „A Gordian knot is a see­mingly intrac­table problem that in reality has a simple, if radical, solution. The debate on the eurozone is ent­angled in many Gordian knots.“
    Stelter: vor allem auch, weil die Poli­tiker oft mehr an das eigene Land denken als an die Eurozone (Aus­nahme: unsere Truppe in Berlin).
  • „We have addressed one before: the quest for a fiscal sta­bi­li­sation mechanism for euro member eco­nomies. The idea is that when countries cannot devalue their cur­rency to boost demand in a recession, they need a fiscal injection from other govern­ments to do so. I dis­agree with this, in part because I am scep­tical of the desi­ra­bility or pos­si­bility of boosting demand through deva­lua­tions, and in part because we know well that func­tioning monetary unions carry out most of their sta­bi­li­sation of asym­metric shocks through private financial con­nec­tedness, not fiscal transfers.“
    – Stelter: was der IWF vor­ge­rechnet hat und ich an dieser Stelle aus­führlich besprach!
  • „Now the Inter­na­tional Monetary Fund has weighed in: managing director Christine Lagarde gave a speech on Monday in which she argued forcefully that the eurozone needs a fiscal sta­bi­li­sation tool. Her staff has deve­loped a detailed pro­posal for a rainy day fund in which all eurozone countries should salt away funds, from which a member could draw a transfer when an objective cyclical indi­cator showed it was in dif­ficult eco­nomic times. They suggest the indi­cator be based on changes in the unem­ployment rate, much like the pro­posals for a pan-eurozone unem­ployment insu­rance mechanism.“
    – Stelter: Dass diese Idee von einer Fran­zösin vor­ge­bracht wird, obwohl das eigene Haus vor­ge­rechnet hat, dass es keinen funk­tio­nie­renden Sta­bi­li­täts­fonds aus Steu­er­mitteln geben kann, ist bestimmt kein Zufall …
  • „All this is European tech­no­cratic dis­traction at its least helpful. If a cross-country fiscal sta­bi­li­sation tool is really wanted, there is a simpler and poli­ti­cally more straight­forward way to achieve this with existing insti­tu­tions. As I have pro­posed before, simply use the existing EU budget, but time what member states con­tribute and receive to the eco­nomic cycle of each. A country’s budget con­tri­bu­tions due for the whole cycle could be con­cen­trated and paid only in the boom phase, with no pay­ments due in the downturn phase, and vice versa for receipts, none of which would be paid out in the boom, but claims for the whole cycle would be released in a downturn. This could allow for a swing from out­flows to inflows across the cycle ranging from 2 per cent of gross domestic product even for the richest member states, to more than 10 per cent of GDP for the poorest.“
    – Stelter: Das finde ich so cool. Er hält nichts von der Idee, weiß aber, wie man es, wenn man den Quatsch denn machen möchte, leichter tun könnte.


  • „This is insti­tu­tio­nally simple: no new fund or insti­tu­tions would be required. It is poli­ti­cally simple: it could be offered to any country that wanted to commit to it. And it is simple in design: all it needs is an indi­cator of the eco­nomic cycle (but so does every other, more com­pli­cated fiscal sta­bi­li­sation tool), and the ability of the European Com­mission to engage in small short-term bor­rowing to smooth out any fluc­tua­tions over the cycle. It also avoids choosing whether the policy instrument is for all EU member states or euro countries only: it would be for whoever wants to sign up for it.“
    – Stelter: Und unsere Poli­tiker sind ja nicht zu bremsen, wenn es darum geht, mehr Geld zu zahlen!
  • „Another Gordian knot is what to do with the eurozone’s fiscal rules. (…) (it)  is right that the solution is to hold govern­ments and their cre­ditors to the con­se­quences of their public finance decisions, that is, ulti­m­ately, debt res­truc­turing. This is why Germany, and most nor­thern European countries, rightly want to insti­tu­tio­nalise the pos­si­bility of sove­reign debt res­truc­turing for eurozone countries.“
    – Stelter: was die Ita­liener und Fran­zosen niemals mit­machen werden.

Fazit FT: „It is some­times the case that sim­plicity can achieve better results than fine-tuned tech­no­cratic mecha­nisms. And it is nearly always the case that sim­plicity is poli­ti­cally pre­ferable. In these two cases, both are true.“ – bto: Noch besser wäre, keine Trans­fer­union zu bilden, eben weil sie nichts bringt.
→ ft.com (Anmeldung erfor­derlich): „The eurozone can cut through its Gordian knots“, 28. März 2018

Dr. Daniel Stelter — www.think-beyondtheobvious.com