June 23, 2012

So why is Merkel wrong?

Ambrose is becoming a supporter of the Latin eurozone countries with their ideas for somehow propping up banks and stimulating growth with "European" (read, other people's) money.

But as she says:
Each country wants to help but if I am going to call on taxpayers in Germany, I must have guarantees that all is under control. Responsibility and control go hand in hand.

If I give money straight to Spanish banks, I can't control what they do. That is how the treaties are written.
There are two main problems with the latest sets of proposals, which Richard North has been tracking in detail.

First, Southern Europe wants Northern Europe to prop it up without surrendering any autonomy.

Second, all these ideas treat symptoms, not causes.
  • Countries' economies still won't have converged. So some will continue to have the wrong interest rate
  • Countries will continue to have hugely different tolerances of internal corruption among their politicians
  • Southern Europe will remain uncompetitive, with years of grinding internal devaluations in front of it.
No call to get excited over the tinkering about with new plans.


A K Haart said...

I think you are spot on with this. Forget the economic details – southern EU simply will not adopt the northern EU work ethic or its attitude to corruption.

John Page said...

Thanks for the reminder about the work ethic, which I should have remembered.

The powers that be keep coming up with plans and roadmaps seeking to pretend that these fundamental differences don't exist.