George Segal breadline sculpture Jennuine Captures/Flickr

¿Quieren provocar otra Depresión?

BERKELEY – En los primeros tiempos de la actual crisis económica, solía incluir en mis discursos una línea que a veces provocaba aplausos, generalmente risas y que siempre daba a los oyentes motivos para el optimismo. Decía que vista la experiencia de Europa y Estados Unidos en la década de 1930, hoy las autoridades no cometerían los mismos errores que sus predecesores durante la Gran Depresión. Esta vez cometerían errores diferentes y (ojalá) no tantos como entonces.

Por desgracia, mi predicción resultó errada. Los funcionarios de la eurozona no sólo insistieron en repetir las torpezas de los años treinta, sino que parecen decididos a hacerlo en forma más brutal, más exagerada y más amplia. Eso no me lo esperaba.

Cuando en 2010 estalló la crisis de deuda griega, me pareció que las lecciones de la historia eran tan obvias que la solución se hallaría fácilmente. La lógica era clara. Si Grecia no fuera miembro de la eurozona, su mejor opción habría sido entrar en cese de pagos, reestructurar la deuda y depreciar su moneda. Pero como la Unión Europea no quería que Grecia abandonara el euro (hubiera sido un gran retroceso para Europa en cuanto proyecto político), se decidió ofrecerle ayuda, apoyo, quita de deuda y asistencia con los pagos, en cantidad suficiente para compensar cualquier ventaja que pudiera obtener saliendo de la unión monetaria.

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