Austerità, la cura sbagliata

BERKELEY – Così come la dissipazione fiscale non ha causato la crisi del debito sovrano che sta travolgendo l’Europa, l’austerità fiscale non la risolverà. Al contrario, quest’austerità ha aggravato la crisi e adesso minaccia di far crollare l’euro e di mandare di nuovo in tilt l’economia globale.

Nel 2007, la Spagna e l’Irlanda erano modelli di rettitudine fiscale, con un rapporto debito-PIL molto più basso di quello della Germania. Gli investitori non erano preoccupati dal rischio di default dei titoli sovrani spagnoli o irlandesi, né dal debito sovrano italiano cronicamente grande. In effetti, l’Italia vantava il più basso rapporto deficit-PIL dell’eurozona ed il governo italiano non aveva problemi a rifinanziarsi a tassi di interesse attraenti. Perfino la Grecia, nonostante una competitività che si stava consumando rapidamente ed una traiettoria fiscale sempre più insostenibile, poteva attirare il capitale di cui aveva bisogno.

Delusi dalla convergenza dei tassi di rendimento dei bond che ha seguito il lancio dell’euro, gli investitori hanno nutrito per un decennio  il boom del credito nel settore privato dei paesi europei periferici meno sviluppati e non sono riusciti a riconoscere le bolle del mercato immobiliare in Spagna ed Irlanda, e la discesa della Grecia verso l’insolvenza. Quando la crescita ha rallentato bruscamente e i flussi di credito sono crollati sulla scia della Grande Recessione, le entrate fiscali sono cadute a piombo, i governi sono stati costretti a socializzare i debiti del settore privato e di conseguenza i deficit fiscali ed il debito sono saliti alle stelle.

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