De Europese Keynesianen zijn de weg kwijt

CAMBRIDGE – Er is geen magische Keynesiaanse oplossing voor de problemen van de eurozone. Maar het bijzonder warhoofdige betoog van vandaag de dag, dat Europa ten onder gaat aan te veel bezuinigingsdrift, is niet verrassend. Commentatoren worden verblind door politieke overwegingen en 'schieten op alles wat beweegt,' terwijl de massa's die tegen het bezuinigingsbeleid in het geweer komen blijkbaar geloven dat er eenvoudige conjuncturele oplossingen zijn voor zware structurele problemen.

Ik betoog al heel lang dat de moeilijkheden waarin de eurozone verkeert voortvloeien uit het feit dat de Europese financiële en monetaire integratie te ver vooruit is gelopen op de feitelijke totstandkoming van een politieke unie, begrotingsunie en bankenunie. Dit is geen probleem waarmee Keynes uit de voeten had gekund en nog veel minder het type probleem waarmee hij zich heeft beziggehouden.

Iedere realistische strategie voor het oplossen van de crisis in de eurozone moet in de eerste plaats enorme afschrijvingen (kwijtscheldingen) omvatten van de schuldenlasten van de zogenoemde periferielanden. De gigantische banken- en staatsschulden van deze landen – het onderscheid daartussen is overal in Europa steeds verder vervaagd – zorgen ervoor dat duurzame groei een droom is.

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