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The trap and the re-booting

Draghi moved, nothing happened. Keynes called it liquidity trap. A situation where monetary policy was helpless to support the economy. A state of market expectations so grim that all additional liquidity would be hoarded and not invested while waiting for market prices of securities to deteriorate further.

Keynes argued that affecting expectations would be critical to take us out of that trap. Expectations relate to the future. Expectations of investors relate to measures of well-being like economic growth. Future growth according to Keynes in such periods of disarray can be best obtained by expansive fiscal policy, whether financed by debt or taxes. Restrictive fiscal policies depress the economy, expectations, hope, employment.

Keynes did not say much about economic policy in a monetary union, it was not daily bread and butter in his time. However he had lot to say about how not to handle relations across countries. For example he did not think well of those local politicans that in times of crises, muscled up against bordering countries, pretending that they needed to carry the burden of stabilization by sticking to outdated and unrealistic promises of, for example, reimbursing debt and relying on moral superiority. He argued in favor of solidarity across countries to avoid war across of countries. It is a terrible thing he and others were not listened. People thought better and obeyed dogmas and fashions and everything unraveled.

I just have to say this: a Eurobond program would be successful for fighting the current crisis not so much because of its impact on liquidity or its likelihood of being followed by a fiscal union, but simply because it would be the best sign that by paying a share of the Greek debt, German taxpayers accept to become European, i.e. to create the United States of Europe. When people have a common goal of society based on risk-sharing and ideals, then you can have a fiscal union and a common currency. At that point only will Greek citizens also sacrifice and also change.

Or else, let us break-up the euro, devalue, and re-boot the economy, with all the damages that this might imply for the existing files. A costly period of re-writing will be needed for what has not been saved on time. But the PC wil not be stuck anymore and one day we will accomplish our postponed dreams.

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