George Segal breadline sculpture Jennuine Captures/Flickr

I Sostenitori della Depressione

BERKELEY – Nei primi giorni della crisi economica in atto, nei dibattiti ho assunto una linea che a volte ha riscosso molto consenso, di solito ha suscitato ilarità, ma ha sempre fornito alla gente un motivo di ottimismo. Data l’esperienza dell’Europa e degli Stati Uniti negli anni trenta, dicevo, i politici non avrebbero fatto gli stessi errori dei loro predecessori durante la Grande Depressione. Questa volta, se ne sarebbero fatti di nuovi, diversi, e, si sperava, minori.

Purtroppo, questa previsione si è rivelata sbagliata. I politici della zona euro non solo hanno continuato a ripetere gli errori degli anni trenta; ma sono pronti a ripeterli in maniera più brutale, esasperata, ed estesa. Non lo avrei mai immaginato.

Quando, nel 2010, è scoppiata la crisi del debito greco, mi sembrava che le lezioni della storia fossero talmente evidenti che il percorso di risoluzione sarebbe stato semplice. La logica era chiara. Se la Grecia non fosse stata un membro della zona euro, l’opzione migliore sarebbe stata quella di fare default, ristrutturare il debito, e svalutare la moneta. Ma, poiché l’Unione Europea non voleva che la Grecia uscisse dalla zona euro (il che avrebbe costituito una grande sconfitta per l’Europa come progetto politico), alla Grecia sarebbe stato offerto sufficiente aiuto, supporto, la cancellazione del debito, e l’assistenza per quanto riguarda i pagamenti, anche per compensare gli eventuali vantaggi che avrebbe potuto ricavare uscendo dell’unione monetaria.

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