Wereldeconomie bedreigd door een 'perfecte storm'

NEW YORK – Donkere, laaghangende financieel-economische wolken lijken vanuit iedere richting aan te komen rollen: de eurozone, de Verenigde Staten, China en elders. De wereldeconomie zou in 2013 wel eens een heel lastige omgeving kunnen zijn om een schuilplaats te vinden.

Om te beginnen wordt de crisis in de eurozone steeds heviger, nu de euro te sterk blijft, de recessie in veel lidstaten wordt verzwaard door de bezuinigingen, en een kredietcrisis in de periferielanden en hoge olieprijzen de vooruitzichten op herstel ondermijnen. Het bankstelsel van de eurozone is een eilandenrijk aan het worden, omdat de grensoverschrijdende en interbancaire kredietlijnen worden doorgesneden en de kapitaalvlucht kan omslaan in een regelrechte run op de banken van de periferielanden, nu Griekenland – naar alle waarschijnlijkheid – over een paar maanden op wanordelijke wijze afscheid zal nemen van de euro.

Bovendien wordt de druk van de begrotingstekorten en de staatsschulden groter, doordat de rente op de staatsobligaties van Spanje en Italië een onhoudbare recordhoogte heeft bereikt. De eurozone heeft misschien niet alleen een internationale steunoperatie voor de banken nodig (zoals onlangs in Spanje), maar ook een volledige reddingsoperatie voor één of meer staten, als de internationale beschermingsconstructies niet langer in staat zijn zowel Spanje als Italië op de been te houden. Als gevolg daarvan blijft een chaotisch uiteenvallen van de eurozone mogelijk.

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