Oltre l’austerità

NEW YORK – Il meeting annuale del Fondo monetario internazionale svoltosi quest’anno ha ribadito chiaramente che l’Europa e la comunità internazionale restano senza timone quando si tratta di politica economica. I leader finanziari, dai ministri delle finanze ai capi delle istituzioni finanziarie private, hanno reiterato la seguente formula: i Paesi in crisi devono sistemare i propri conti, ridurre i deficit, abbattere i debiti nazionali, intraprendere riforme strutturali e promuovere la crescita. Come è stato più volte ribadito, occorre ripristinare la fiducia.

Ha ben poco valore sentire uscire questo tipo di asserzioni dalla bocca di chi, al timone di banche centrali, ministeri delle finanze e banche private, ha trascinato il sistema finanziario globale sull’orlo del baratro, creando l’attuale caos. Peggio ancora, è raro che qualcuno spieghi come far quadrare il cerchio. Come si può ripristinare la fiducia quando le economie in crisi finiscono in recessione? Come si può rilanciare la crescita quando l’austerità implica quasi certamente un’ulteriore contrazione della domanda aggregata, con ripercussioni negative sui livelli di produzione e occupazione?

Una cosa è certa: i mercati sono per loro natura instabili Non solo generano ripetutamente bolle azionarie destabilizzanti, ma di fronte a un indebolimento della domanda entrano in gioco delle forze che inaspriscono la congiuntura economica. La disoccupazione, e il timore che essa si diffonda, spinge al ribasso salari, redditi e consumi, e quindi la domanda totale. Le ridotte percentuali relative alla formazione di nuovi nuclei familiari – i giovani americani tornano, ad esempio, a vivere con i genitori – deprimono i prezzi immobiliari, portando a maggiori pignoramenti. Gli stati con i conti in pareggio sono costretti a tagliare la spesa a causa di un minore gettito fiscale  – un destabilizzatore automatico che l’Europa sembra irragionevolmente intenzionata ad adottare.

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