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E ceva ce nu se justifica…

… in aceasta criza a datoriilor suverane. Am citit si ultimile comentarii, voi incerca sa-mi expun intr-un mod cat mai clar gandurile in aceasta postare. E ceva ce nu se justiifca! Ceva de neinteles si straniu in toata povestea asta a datoriilor.

Sa ne gandim ca totul a pornit de la lupta dintre comunism si capitalism. Romania, bunaoara, a fost o tara comunista. Teoria spune asa: statul face cheltuieli mari. In comunism intreaga economie era de stat, nu exista sector privat (decat cel putin unul foarte marunt, nesemnificativ). Nu cred ca se va gasi cineva care sa-l faca pe Ceausescu capitalist! 🙂 Cum toata economia era de stat – si nu exista, subliniez, sector privat – te-ai fi asteptat ca statul sa cheltuiasca sume uriase pentru dezvoltare. Mai mult, se vorbea pe vremea lui Ceausescu de asa numitul somaj mascat. Asta nu insemna ca respectivul primea ajutor de somaj, ci era incadrat in campul muncii cu salariu intreg. Te-ai fi asteptat ca statul sa cheltuiasca foarte mult pentru ca sa poata sustine aceasta constructie economica, bazata pe intreprinderi de stat ineficiente si pe sustinerea unui surplus de lucratori, care de fapt ar fi trebuit sa fie someri, dar care erau angajati si primeau un salariu intreg. Cu toate acestea, datoria pe care a avut-o Romania sub Ceausescu, datorie pe care tara noastra a fost obligata s-o plateasca si Ceausescu, cu mari sacrificii, e adevarat, a platit-o, era un mizilic fata de ceea ce vedem in zilele noastre in toata Europa Vestica, nu numai in cazul Greciei – (v. aici). Nicio tara europeana (exista, desigur, si exceptiile de rigoare, ca in orice situatie) nu a reusit sa respecte Tratatul de la Maastricht care, printre altele, prevedea ca datoria publica nu trebuie sa depaseasca 60% din PIB – am scris despre asta aici. Iar lucrul asta s-a intamplat – tocmai asta e halucinant!! – in conditii capitaliste!!! Teoria despre capitalism, din punctul asta de vedere, e una in esenta destul de simpla: diminuarea rolului statului in economie. Din moment ce primeaza, economic vorbind, sectorul privat, rolul statului se diminueaza – de aici si consecintele: taxe si impozite mici (pentru ca de ce ai plati statului taxe si impozite mari daca rolul sau in economie este mult diminuat?),  libertatea economica. Ceea ce e izbitor de te lasa masca, cum se spune, este ca statele care au un sistem foarte bine pus la punct de protectie sociala – ma refer, de pilda, la Tarile Scandinave – au respectat Tratatul de la Maastricht. De asemenea Romania, cea actuala, unde coruptia e mare, a respectat de asemenea Tratatul de la Maastricht in ceea ce priveste volumul datoriei… In schimb celelalte tari vestice n-au respectat nici una limita maxima de 60% din PIB, nici macar Austria sau Germania!! Lucrul asta ma face sa ma gandesc la faptul ca si daca s-ar fi cheltuit abundent pentru protectie sociala, programe sociale, in tarile care nu au respectat limita maxima de 60% din PIB impusa datoriei publice  de catre Tratatul de la Maastricht, tot nu s-ar fi putut ajunge la un volum atat de mare al datoriei publice. Stateam si ma gandeam, de exemplu, cum a ajuns Belgia sa aiba o datorie de 107% din PIB in 2014… Daca va veti uita pe harta pusa la dispozitie de Statistica Ilustrata a Eurostatului, tarile care au respectat limita maxima de 60% din PIB sunt tarile din vechiul Bloc Estic ( cu mici exceptii: Croatia, Ungaria) si Tarile Scandinave. Atat.

Datoria foarte mare acumulata de tarile vestice nu se poate justifica, mai ales ca aceasta a crescut continuu de la semnarea Tratatului de la Maastricht si pana acum. Dar sa incercam sa vedem totusi… Sa luam, de pilda, Franta. Cum se justifica o datorie care a ajuns in 2014 la 95% din PIB? Sa incercam sa facem o comparatie cu Romania. E clar ca Franta e o tara in care performanta economica e mult mai mare decat in cazul Romaniei. Productivitatea in Franta e mai mare decat in Romania. Franta nu avea nevoie sa aiba o asemenea datorie, atat de mare. Atentie, vorbim de datoria statului, nu a sectorului privat!! Oricate programe sociale s-ar fi adoptat in Franta, este imposibil sa cheltuiesti atat de multi bani. Greu de crezut ca ar fi posibil. Pentru ca intra in contradictie cu productivitatea inalta pe care o intalnim in Franta si nu numai. In asemenea conditii vin, din taxe si impozite – inteleg ca Franta are o fiscalitate ridicata -, suficienti bani in vistieria statului. De ce, atunci, mai e nevoie ca statul sa se indatoreze atat de mult? Cu atat mai mult nu e nevoie de asa ceva. Romania, chiar si in conditii de nivel ridicat al coruptiei, respecta limita maxima a datoriei. Deci nici coruptia, care diminueaza productivitatea, nu poate fi o explicatie plauzibila pentru acest fenomen. Europa Vestica, nu numai Eurozona (Eurozona cu atat mai mult) arata ca o zona calamitata puternic, in care statul are nevoie de foarte multi bani pentru a face fata unei asemenea calamitati. Or, nici vorba de asa ceva, de o asemenea calamitate, Doamne fereste, in Europa de Vest. De aceea in toata povestea asta a datoriilor publice e ceva putred… De aceea eu spuneam aici ca exista un exces de lichiditate ce trebuie cheltuit. Dar mai vine si o alta intrebare: pe ce anume au cheltuit statele vestice acesti bani? Vorbim de sume uriase. Se vorbeste foarte mult despre indatorare, dar mult mai putin daca aceasta e justificata sau nu. Un stat poate oricand sa se indatoreze, fara sa dea nicio explicatie cetatenilor sai. Lucrul e ingrijorator. Adevarul este ca avem de a face cu o opacitate foarte mare, in toata Eurozona, cu privire la aceste datorii publice.

Ciudat e ca, acum, se impune o austeritate paguboasa tuturor acestor state, dar de la semnarea Tratatului de la Maastricht si pana sa se ajunga la asemenea debite mari, nu s-a luat nicio masura ca sa se evite o asemenea situatie. Fara indoiala, Grecia a fost doar punctul slab, gasit cu usurinta… Mie mi se pare ca a fost un atentat la Uniunea Europeana si o incercare de demantelare a Eurozonei, care inca nu s-a oprit. Interesant ce spune laureatul Premiului Nobel pentru Economie, Joseph Stiglitz intr-un articol din urma cu o luna:

Project Syndicate

Europe’s Last Act?

Se arata ca:

„NEW YORK – European Union leaders continue to play a game of brinkmanship with the Greek government. Greece has met its creditors’ demands far more than halfway. Yet Germany and Greece’s other creditors continue to demand that the country sign on to a program that has proven to be a failure, and that few economists ever thought could, would, or should be implemented.

The swing in Greece’s fiscal position from a large primary deficit to a surplus was almost unprecedented, but the demand that the country achieve a primary surplus of 4.5% of GDP was unconscionable. Unfortunately, at the time that the “troika” – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – first included this irresponsible demand in the international financial program for Greece, the country’s authorities had no choice but to accede to it.

The folly of continuing to pursue this program is particularly acute now, given the 25% decline in GDP that Greece has endured since the beginning of the crisis. The troika badly misjudged the macroeconomic effects of the program that they imposed. According to their published forecasts, they believed that, by cutting wages and accepting other austerity measures, Greek exports would increase and the economy would quickly return to growth. They also believed that the first debt restructuring would lead to debt sustainability.

The troika’s forecasts have been wrong, and repeatedly so. And not by a little, but by an enormous amount. Greece’s voters were right to demand a change in course, and their government is right to refuse to sign on to a deeply flawed program.

Having said that, there is room for a deal: Greece has made clear its willingness to engage in continued reforms, and has welcomed Europe’s help in implementing some of them. A dose of reality on the part of Greece’s creditors – about what is achievable, and about the macroeconomic consequences of different fiscal and structural reforms – could provide the basis of an agreement that would be good not only for Greece, but for all of Europe.

Some in Europe, especially in Germany, seem nonchalant about a Greek exit from the eurozone. The market has, they claim, already “priced in” such a rupture. Some even suggest that it would be good for the monetary union.

I believe that such views significantly underestimate both the current and future risks involved. A similar degree of complacency was evident in the United States before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The fragility of America’s banks had been known for a long time – at least since the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns the previous March. Yet, given the lack of transparency (owing in part to weak regulation), both markets and policymakers did not fully appreciate the linkages among financial institutions.

Indeed, the world’s financial system is still feeling the aftershocks of the Lehman collapse. And banks remain non-transparent, and thus at risk. We still don’t know the full extent of linkages among financial institutions, including those arising from non-transparent derivatives and credit default swaps.

In Europe, we can already see some of the consequences of inadequate regulation and the flawed design of the eurozone itself. We know that the structure of the eurozone encourages divergence, not convergence: as capital and talented people leave crisis-hit economies, these countries become less able to repay their debts. As markets grasp that a vicious downward spiral is structurally embedded in the euro, the consequences for the next crisis become profound. And another crisis in inevitable: it is in the very nature of capitalism.

ECB President Mario Draghi’s confidence trick, in the form of his declaration in 2012 that the monetary authorities would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro, has worked so far. But the knowledge that the euro is not a binding commitment among its members will make it far less likely to work the next time. Bond yields could spike, and no amount of reassurance by the ECB and Europe’s leaders would suffice to bring them down from stratospheric levels, because the world now knows that they will not do “whatever it takes.” As the example of Greece has shown, they will do only what short-sighted electoral politics demands.

The most important consequence, I fear, is the weakening of European solidarity. The euro was supposed to strengthen it. Instead, it has had the opposite effect.

It is not in the interest of Europe – or the world – to have a country on Europe’s periphery alienated from its neighbors, especially now, when geopolitical instability is already so evident. The neighboring Middle East is in turmoil; the West is attempting to contain a newly aggressive Russia; and China, already the world’s largest source of savings, the largest trading country, and the largest overall economy (in terms of purchasing power parity), is confronting the West with new economic and strategic realities. This is no time for European disunion.

Europe’s leaders viewed themselves as visionaries when they created the euro. They thought they were looking beyond the short-term demands that usually preoccupy political leaders.

Unfortunately, their understanding of economics fell short of their ambition; and the politics of the moment did not permit the creation of the institutional framework that might have enabled the euro to work as intended. Although the single currency was supposed to bring unprecedented prosperity, it is difficult to detect a significant positive effect for the eurozone as a whole in the period before the crisis. In the period since, the adverse effects have been enormous.

The future of Europe and the euro now depends on whether the eurozone’s political leaders can combine a modicum of economic understanding with a visionary sense of, and concern for, European solidarity. We are likely to begin finding out the answer to that existential question in the next few weeks.” (subl. mea)

Voi incerca sa traduc ce am subliniat cu rosu:

Nu este in interesul Europei – sau al lumii – sa aiba o tara de la periferie despartita de vecinii sai, mai ales acum, cand instabilitatea geopolitica este deja evidenta. Zona invecinata a Orientului Mijlociu este in fierbere; Vestul incearca sa retina o noua Rusie agresiva; iar China, deja cea mai mare sursa a lumii de economii, cel mai mare comert, cea mai mare economie globala (in termeni de paritate a puterii de cumparare) confrunta Vestul cu noi realitati economice si strategice. Aceasta nu e vremea pentru sciziunea Europei.

Recomand citirea integrala si in original a tuturor articolelor.

iulie 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 comentarii