Monday, October 24, 2011

Excellent systemic account of the Euro crisis

My thanks to Bruce Legay for drawing my attention to this New York Times piece entitled: It’s All Connected: An Overview of the Euro Crisis.  The question becomes how to act on such systemic understandings.  My own experience suggests interventions that move damaging positive feedback processes in to virtuous negative feedback processes - but what these might be is beyond my experience.  The latter could involve some institutional innovations within the Eurozone designed to provide more resilience in future - the current arrangements have clearly failed.  Many commentators are comparing the Greek situation with that of Argentina.  On the surface these arguments seem to make sense, although in this posting the author refutes this claim, going on to say:

"There is no clear answer to what will happen or what should happen. There is a big mess out there. Once is certain though. The similarities between Argentina and Greece point to another worrying development. The citizens won’t be able to suffer the burdens of austerity any longer more (especially when they are made to pay for the bloated public servants). When that happens the situation will be beyond saving by the IMF, the EU and the ECB."

I wonder if allowing Greece to default within an institutionalised firewall is not a good strategy, whilst maintaining transfer payments from the rest of the EU, much as has happened over the last 30 years?  One thing is clear that without transformation of Greek institutions the situation is likely to reoccur.

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