euro bills Kevin Harber/Flickr

Ripartire dall’euro

SAINT-PIERRE-D’ENTREMONT, FRANCIA – L’Unione Monetaria Europea non è mai stata una buona idea. Ricordo la mia sorpresa quando, da giovane assistente universitario, mi sono reso conto che ero contrario al Trattato di Maastricht. Credevo allora – e lo credo ancora – che l’integrazione europea è una cosa molto positiva. Ma l’economia dei manuali che insegnavo mostrava quanto poteva essere dannosa l’Uem in assenza di un’unione politica e fiscale europea.

Niente di quello che è successo da allora mi ha convinto che i manuali erano eccessivamente pessimisti. Al contrario: erano di gran lunga ottimisti. La vita è piena di ostacoli e quando ne incontri uno devi essere in grado di adattarti. Tuttavia l’unione monetaria in sé si è mostrata come un enorme ostacolo, generando flussi di capitale che hanno comportato un aumento dei costi nei Paesi della periferia europea. E la modifica – vale a dire, la svalutazione valutaria – non era un’opzione.

Inoltre, a quei tempi, molti libri di testo ignoravano il settore finanziario; pertanto, ignoravano il fatto che i flussi di capitale verso la periferia sarebbero stati incanalati tramite le banche, e che nel momento in cui si fosse fermato questo flusso di capitali, le crisi bancarie avrebbero messo sotto pressione le finanze pubbliche dei membri periferici. Ciò, a sua volta, avrebbe minato ulteriormente i bilanci delle banche e limitato la creazione di credito – il doom loop tra banche e stati sovrani di cui abbiamo tanto sentito parlare negli ultimi anni. E nessun manuale aveva previsto che la cooperazione europea avrebbe imposto un’austerità pro-ciclica sui Paesi colpiti dalla crisi, creando depressioni che in alcuni casi competono con quelle degli anni ’30.

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