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.”  bto: 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.”  bto: 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.”  bto: 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.”  bto: 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.”  bto: 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.”  bto: 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