Das Euro-Desaster: Zusammenfassung zum 20. Geburtstag

Willkommen in 2019, das so weitergeht wie das Jahr 2018. Insofern werden uns auch die Themen nicht ausgehen. Gut möglich, dass es 2019 nur deutlich volatiler zugeht. An den Märkten und in der Politik. Beginnen wir auch bei bto mit der “Feier” des 20-jährigen Bestehens des Euro. Bekanntlich nicht gerade ein Erfolgsprojekt. So sehen es zumindest jene, die es so sehen dürfen und wollen. Bei uns ist das Ganze als “Friedensprojekt” (falsch, da alleine die Demografie gegen Kriege im Raum der heutigen EU spricht) und als Exportüberschuss-Sicherungsmechanismus (richtig, aber letztlich eine selbst bezahlte Subvention, die uns noch sehr teuer zu stehen kommen wird) verbrämt. Die Briten waren schon einmal so klug, gar nicht erst mitzumachen:

  • “To be charitable, you could say the euro has proved itself merely by surviving until its 20th birthday this January. That is a low bar. Monetary union has otherwise failed as an economic and political endeavour. The evidence of Europe’s ‘Lost Decade’ is that it can only ever be made to work under a regime of technocrat Caesaropapism, that is to say by stripping elected parliaments of their lifeblood control over taxation, spending, and the core economic policies of the nation state.” – bto: Das Hauptproblem ist eben, dass der Euroraum immer mehr divergiert als konvergiert.
  • “‘One day, the house of cards will collapse,’ says Professor Otmar Issing, the founding chief economist of the European Central Bank and the chastened prophet of the euro project.” – bto: Aber das hört ja keiner in Deutschland.
  • “The London School of Economics has assembled package of papers by illuminati from Europe and North America to mark this week’s anniversary, published by the journal Comparative Political Studies. (…) The calamitous EMU saga has led to the ‘most serious economic crisis in the history of the European Union’. It has done ‘more lasting damage’ to swaths of Europe than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and pitted eurozone states against each other in a bitter struggle for control over the levers of policy.” – bto: Und am Ende werden wir Deutsche die großen Verlierer des Spiels sein.
  • “(…) EU bodies became debt collectors for the creditor bloc, and enforcers of a German-imposed strategy of debt deflation and fiscal contraction. (…) The ideology prevails. The LSE papers said EU leaders have responded at every stage with half measures in a sequential cycle of piecemeal reform, just enough to stop the collapse of EMU without resolving the core deformities of an orphan currency with no fiscal union to back it up. ‘What is clear is that the status quo cannot persist indefinitely if the Euro is to survive in the long term,’ it said.” – bto: was ein No-Brainer ist. Richtig wäre, zu sagen, was gemacht werden muss, ist gar nicht möglich und deshalb wird der Euro nicht überleben können!
  • “I would argue that the spectacle of an EU in such a shambles from 2010 to 2015 led directly to Brexit. It profoundly shook the moral prestige of the EU, and demolished claims of economic competence. (…) Several hundred thousand economic refugees came to work in Britain from the EMU depression belt. A further wave from Eastern Europe came to the UK instead of going to the eurozone as they would have done in normal times. The double surge had maximum impact just before the Referendum.” – bto: Klar, dazu kamen dann noch die Bilder der Männer, die aus der arabischen Welt zu uns marschierten.
  • “More subtly, the euro crisis revealed that the pathologies of monetary union cannot be managed by normal democratic means. The elected prime ministers of Greece and Italy were toppled in 2010 and 2011 and replaced by EU functionaries in soft coups organized by Brussels and the pro-EMU vested interests of each country. (…) When push come to shove, the reflex was authoritarian. It spoke to the character of the EU.” – bto: So ist es, die EU ist keine wirkliche Demokratie. Man denke an das geringe Stimmrecht deutscher Bürger.
  • “The LSE says the euro crisis was predictable and was in fact widely-predicted. It mimicked countless episodes in Latin America, East Asia, and other emerging markets, where debtors borrowed heavily in dollars that they could not print. The pattern is for countries to succumb to credit booms while money is loose and the ‘carry trade’ is in full bloom. They spiral into busts when confidence evaporates and the capital flows dry up. This is the classic ‘sudden stop’ faced by states that do not borrow in their own currency.” – bto: wobei die EZB ja so umgebaut wird – egal was man offiziell sagt – dass sie in Zukunft das “Nötige” tun kann.
  • “Europe’s elites imagined that current account deficits did not matter in the magical euro union, even though the deficit states in Southern Europe and Ireland had lost their sovereign policy instruments and no longer had a lender-of-last resort behind them. (…) The elites also failed to grasp that fixed exchange rate systems (without full fiscal union) switch currency risk into default risk. The rating agencies also missed this elephant in the room and so did the International Monetary Fund, as it confessed later in its devastating mea culpa. Ideological capture drained everybody of their senses.” – bto: und tut das immer noch!
  • Nations feasted on the windfall of lower interest rates. They let unit labour costs ratchet up, even as Germany was ratcheting them down through the Hartz VI wage squeeze in what was objectively – if not intentionally – a beggar-thy-neighbour policy. They forgot that they cannot devalue their way back to exchange rate equilibrium. The EU’s cardinal error was to then try to force the high-debt states to claw back 20pc or 30pc lost labour competitiveness against Germany through ‘internal devaluations’, a euphemism for slashing demand. This was self-defeating even on its own crude terms. It shrank the economic base and drove up debt ratios faster through the denominator effect.” – bto: So ist es. Wir haben eine Irving-Fisher-Debt-Deflation provoziert, die dann von der EZB vorerst unter Kontrolle gehalten wurde.
  • “The LSE says the result of so much damage is that the eurozone’s troubles today ‘appear disturbingly similar’ to those of Japan, trapped in deflationary stagnation for twenty years with broken banks. Except that euroland is not Japan. It is not a cohesive society with a monetary and fiscal machinery working in harmony. Europe’s debt problems look even more serious and threatening,’ it said.” – bto: Genau so ist es!
  • “The eurozone risks crashing into next the global downturn with no defences. Rates cannot drop any lower. There is no proper banking union with pan-EMU deposit insurance. The dangers of a sovereign-bank ‘doom loop’ remain. They are on full display again in Italy.” – bto: und daran würden auch die ganzen Pläne die auf dem Tisch liegen nichts ändern.
  • “The LSE team takes a long view, comparing the eurozone’s travails to struggles between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson over the handling of state debts in the United States. The battle saw disputes over the First and Second National Banks and lasted until the completion of US monetary union in the 1870s – and took a civil war to resolve. Crafting a functioning economic and monetary union is a long hard road, they said. The presumption is that the Europe’s leaders must in the end agree to some form of fiscal union but this runs into the fundamental barrier of democracy. Such a system would eviscerate the tax and spending prerogatives of elected parliaments, forgetting the lessons of the English Civil War and indeed the American Revolution.” – bto: Aber es klappt doch. Den Deutschen ist es völlig egal, dass eine abgegebene Stimme in Malta ein Vielfaches Gewicht von jener in Deutschland hat. Na und, uns geht es doch gut!
  • “It can retain democratic legitimacy only if the EU goes the whole way to a supranational federal union akin to the USA, and for this there is not the slightest popular support in any major country. The ineluctable conclusion is that a monetary union of budgetary sovereign states cannot be made to work, and should not be made to work. The euro is a constitutional anomaly. It must therefore be broken up. All else is self-deception.” – bto: Falsch, denn wer braucht schon die ‘Popular Vote’, um das Projekt durchzusetzen? Bisher hat die EU es doch immer ganz gut ohne geschafft, sich auszubreiten und zu vertiefen.

Und gleich dazu noch ein weiterer Kommentar aus UK:

  • “‘For 20 years, the euro has delivered prosperity and protection to our citizens. It has become a symbol of unity, sovereignty and stability, and we must ensure it continues’. Thus spoke Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, in ‘celebration’ this week of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption in synthetic form of Europe’s single currency. (…) I have to admit to a sneaking regard for Mr Juncker, whose impish sense of humour – as in ‘we know what has to be done, we just don’t know how to get re-elected afterwards’ – and candour over the EU’s own casual disregard for democracy, marks him out as one of Europe’s more entertaining politicians. Yet his comments on the euro are beyond parody.” – bto: Das Traurige bei diesen ganzen Theatern ist, dass es zu einem ökonomischen und damit sozialen und politischen Desaster wird, was da gerade veranstaltet wird.
  • “In economic terms, monetary union has arguably been good for Germany and its satellite Northern European states, underpinning the competitiveness of an already formidable export machine. I say arguably, because if the effect of Germany’s success is to impoverish the rest, the model can’t work in the long run. Central Europe’s apparent prosperity would come to be seen as little more than a mirage in any eventual unraveling, imposing massive losses on German savers via cross border defaults.” – bto: Ganz genau so ist es!
  • “For much of the rest of Europe, however, the euro has been an unmitigated disaster. (…) The EU may always have been more of a political than an economic project; for its founding fathers, the ambition was always a United States of Europe. But Maastricht marked the point of no return.” – bto: Stimmt, aber es war nicht nur der Euro. Es waren auch viele andere Entscheidungen, nicht zuletzt die Bereitschaft, eine Politik der offenen Grenzen zu verfolgen.
  • “The idea, then, that the euro has proved a unifying factor in Europe is completely spurious. It has been a deeply divisive force which led directly to the British divorce. It has also quite plainly not been good for great tracts of the European economy. Taking eurozone members as a whole, growth has slowed and unemployment risen markedly since the introduction of the single currency, disastrously so for the southern periphery.” – bto: Die Ursachen mögen auch andere sein, aber so ist nun mal.
  • “There is virtually no acknowledgement of the destructive dynamic that the euro set in train, creating unsustainable fiscal, credit and construction booms in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and beyond, or the role played by eurozone policy in exaggerating the subsequent bust. Denied the natural adjustment mechanism of currency realignment, debtor countries were instead forced into punishing internal devaluations, further raising debt to GDP ratios and decimating public support for the established centre ground in politics.” – bto: Es ist ein Elitenprojekt, das ökonomisch nicht funktionieren kann und zudem schlecht gemanagt wurde.
  • “It is hard to think of any self inflicted peacetime policy blunder quite as devastating in its economic consequences and destabilising in its political fallout as European Monetary Union. And yet it staggers on, sustained more by fear of the economic consequences of leaving as belief in the project’s underlying merits. That, and the political capital that has been invested in it.” – bto: Dennoch dürfte es nicht funktionieren, weil der Mitteleinsatz zum Kaschieren der Probleme exponentiell steigt.
  • “(…) but even among voters in the most disadvantaged member states, it is hard to find a majority in favour of getting rid of it. Put yourself in the position of a reasonably well off member of the Spanish middle class and it is easy to see why. They like having a German exchange rate to protect the value of their assets, savings and earnings. They are not likely to vote for a course of action that will overnight devalue their wealth by 30 per cent. (…) Dismal prospect though it might seem, it is as depressingly possible to see the euro surviving the next crisis as it did the last one, condemning the Continent to a state of permanently low growth and politically destructive divisiveness. They make a desert, wrote the Roman historian Tacitus, and call it peace.” – bto: Ja, es kann sein, dass das Konstrukt länger bestehen bleibt, als wir uns denken können und wünschen sollten. Mit furchtbaren Folgen am Ende.

→ telegraph.co.uk: “The euro has failed, threatens democracy, and should be abolished”, 2. Januar 2019

→ telegraph.co.uk: “Happy birthday to the euro, destined to stagger on and condemn Europe to further disaster”, 3. Januar 2019