Thursday, November 27, 2014
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厚颜无耻的欧元区和IMF

伦敦—欧元区决策者和政客毫无可指摘之处:他们已经做好了分内事,增加了援助基金——欧洲稳定机制(ESM)的规模以支持货币联盟中苦苦挣扎的成员国。现在,轮到世界其他机构——即IMF——站出来提供更多的资金了,欧洲财政部长们正在华盛顿的IMF/世界银行会议上提出这一要求。

换句话说,欧洲官员们认为,IMF理所当然应该支持欧元区,好像这是世界其他国家的义务似的。实际上,即便欧元区各国能够同意大幅增加ESM的规模,IMF也有充足的理由不给予任何后续支持。

欧元区是一个如同美国那样的联邦还是一个由独立国家组成的集体,这可不是由欧元区领导人说了算。欧洲领导人总是往有力的方向用欧元区比照其他发达经济体。

他们指出,欧元区作为一个整体的预算赤字要低于美国和英国,公债水平则差不多。与美国和英国不同,欧元区各国加总后存在经常项目盈余(用政客们常用的话说,欧元区能够“自力更生”)。他们还相当骄傲地说,欧元作为国际储备货币的作用与日俱增,并信誓旦旦地宣布要竭尽全力捍卫货币联盟的统一。

但同样是这群决策者,却认为世界其他部分应该拯救欧元。此时,欧元不再是极其成功的统一货币,而只是一种一组主权债权国和债务国共用的货币而已,因此IMF有义务支持债务国。

不得不说,如此立场相当怪异。想象一下,美国联邦政府决定不再支持密西西比,转而要求IMF支持这个贫困的南方州。世界其他部分——以欧元区各国政府为首——理所当然会对此不屑一顾。类似地,IMF也不会帮助印度——该国人均GDP还不到欧元区的十分之一——出资援助极度贫困的比哈尔邦和北方邦。

欧元区却在要求双重标准。其债务国和债权国同属一个富有的货币联盟,它们加总后存在经常项目盈余,这意味着欧元区是资本的净出口方(亦即国内储蓄大于国内投资)。此外,欧元区应对危机的战略间接取决于盈余的增加:存在经常项目赤字的成员国面临着消除赤字的压力,但存在经常项目盈余的成员国并没有减少盈余的压力。如此说来,这个本质上追求着重商主义战略的地区现在反倒要求世界其余部分来替他掏钱了。

许多欧元区领导人认为,世界其他部分有义务援助欧元区,因为该货币联盟算得上“躺着也中枪”。欧元区的基本面要比其他经济体更稳定,但市场(或者“投机者”)导致欧元区中苦苦挣扎的成员国无法完成必要的调整。因此,欧元区应该获得险些将之毁于一旦的国际力量的保护。

这一逻辑凸显了问题的核心:欧元区具有制度性的不完善性,而欧元区领导人却在不停地指责投资者挑明了这一点。所有货币联盟中都存在债权地区和债务地区。在其他货币联盟中,债权地区都有责任支持债务地区(支持方法多种多样),欧元区也不能例外,其债权地区应担起巩固债务地区偿债能力之责。这就要求实行债务共同化、实现成员国之间的财政转移,当然,也需要联邦制度建设从而赋予这一切合法性。

欧元区决策者要求IMF给予更多支持的第二个理由则纯属要挟:欧元区危机深化将造成不可承担的后果,IMF别无选择,只能竭尽所能防止这一幕发生。比欧元区穷得多的国家,以及那些以往总是被欧元区决策者批评债务过多的国家(比如美国和英国)应该向富有的债权人提供支持,以防止其给全球经济造成不可估量的伤害。这就好比是抛给世界其余部分一个不得不接受的烫手山芋。

世界其余部分没有支持欧元区的道德义务,并且应该抵制欧元区领导人勒索支持的做法,因为支持欧元区实际上就是支持其中的债权国。这不符合IMF资源的使用原则,而新兴经济体将由此确认IMF不过是西方利益的应声虫。

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    1. CommentedJonathan Lam

      Eurozone Chutzph and the IMF

      “Eurozone members as a whole, they argue, have a lower budget deficit than the US and the United Kingdom, and a similar level of public debt. Unlike the US and the UK, the eurozone in aggregate is running a current-account surplus (it is, as policymakers like to say, living “within its means”). And they express considerable pride in the euro’s growing role as an international reserve currency, as well as resolve to do whatever it takes to defend the currency union’s integrity.”
      I would agree on the scheme of integrity for the Euro currency union, or it lives ‘within its means’. Then, what went wrong with growth or the future of it? If it is running on 1-2% growth and 20% unemployment in general; perhaps, Mr. Simon Tilford gave a good reason the IMF is not involved in helping India even though its Stricken states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is making less than a tenth of the eurozone levels. It is a good point that EU should not drag IMF into assistance of its rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) establishing its the bi-system of rescue fund; I am glad that the other input $430 billion and Japan’s $600 billion pledge. That made a 2 trillion gift to EU. However I would stress the issues of liquidity, solvency, sustainability and competitiveness to the recues of the Southern States like PIIGS, Does it sound much like too big to fall? Or, Do the Southern States really live within its means?

      For much the rescue begins, these rescue funds would help eliminate the debts in the second round of restructuring of the debts. Then, the funds from the Twist would turn into credit and shift into the system like the hot cash; the coming inflation and the exchange rate upgrade would escalate based on the structured inflation from the emerging nations with their upgraded labor cost and transportation cost may strangle the growth of the Southern States more since the budget cut or austerity programs. Eventually, the relief of the write-off some believe the economy would reverse would bring on the stagflation and volatile currency exchange rate when the debt/credit sovereignty accountable is turned over to the credit over to the commercial bank. The days of the global stagflation is not far, and the timing for the 2014 in changing the interest rate to the major central banks or commercial banks may not be equipped sufficiently to void the stagflation after it has stalled off years for the ECB and FED.

      “That would be an unjustified use of IMF resources, and would further confirm the suspicion among the world's emerging economies that the IMF is in thrall to Western interests………..If eurozone governments are unwilling to build the federal institutions needed to stabilize the eurozone, they should either assemble a big enough rescue fund themselves, or accept that the single currency is unworkable in its current form.”
      I still think IMF should not taking the post of insurer like ECB in monitoring the sovereignty debt if its major task is aiding the monetary settlements of the exchange and retribution of the financial, and stabilizing the global monetary finance. By time when stagflation hits or the federation of EU fails, IMF will become the one of the balls being juggled under Ms Largard. It is questionable if IMF is really in thrall to western interest when the changes of the currency exchange must under a new reconstruction. After which, economical growth G20 proposed may not be optimistic as it shows, since the core of inflation had been modified by the merging nation to the restructuring inflation through the hyper labor cost and transportation pricing. The hell break loose as the Piigs run off the fence, when they realize in open competitions, there is less tolerance in sustainability, liquidity, affordability and competitiveness; and resilience comes from social and political if the balance of the financial and development is off.
      The alternative in use another entity like the World Bank or Development Bank to keep the task and responsibility of the insurer under the guidance of the United Nations rather than 54% control of the world Bank by the ECB/FED. Does anyone smell monopoly around here or there? Finally, I stress on the questionable role of the rescue fund in IMF is in thrall of Western interest.
      “The exuberant fertility of the universal will. “ by Friedrich Nietzsche . German philosopher. The Birth of Tragedy (1872).

      May the Buddha bless you?

    2. CommentedZsolt Hermann

      I fully agree with the writer's opinion about the European attitude.
      As the writer says they wanted to get the best of both worlds.
      They set up a superficial fiscal, economical collaboration in order to compete on the financial/economical markets with the US and the Asian countries, but they did not want to create a sound basis for it by building a fully integral structure with full socio-economic integration on a supra-national platform, which is understandable since that is a much more complicated, and sensitive political question.
      Now as the luck of the adventure has run out and the global economy started collapsing, the make up is coming off and it does not mater how stubbornly they try the different virtual, cosmetic financial adjustments, the structure is falling since it has no foundation.
      This is a very important lesson for the whole global world, in our new interconnected, interdependent global network we will have no possibility to solve any of our problems unless we swallow the bitter pill, take on the political, social challenge, and move away from our populist fragmented, polarized, nationalistic worldview and start building a mutually responsible, truly global human structure that can adapt us to the conditions we exist in.

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