A cura errada de austeridade

BERKELEY - O desregramento orçamental não causou a crise da dívida soberana que afecta a Europa; e a austeridade orçamental não irá resolvê-la. Pelo contrário, tal austeridade agravou a crise e agora ameaça derrubar o euro e atirar a economia mundial para uma queda livre.

Em 2007, a Espanha e a Irlanda foram modelos de disciplina orçamental, com rácios de dívida do PIB muito mais baixos do que o da Alemanha. Os investidores não estavam preocupados com o risco de incumprimento da dívida soberana espanhola ou irlandesa; ou com a dívida soberana, cronicamente grande, da Itália. Na verdade, a Itália gabava-se de ter o rácio do défice público, em relação ao PIB, mais baixo da zona euro e o governo italiano não teve qualquer problema no refinanciamento com taxas de juros atractivas. Até mesmo a Grécia, apesar da rápida redução da sua competitividade e da sua trajectória orçamental cada vez mais insustentável, poderia atrair o capital necessário.

Iludidos pela convergência dos rendimentos das obrigações que se seguiram ao lançamento do euro, os investidores alimentaram uma década com um “boom” no crédito do sector privado, nos países periféricos da Europa menos desenvolvidos, e não conseguiram reconhecer as bolhas imobiliárias em Espanha e na Irlanda e o deslize da Grécia rumo à insolvência. Quando o crescimento desacelerou acentuadamente e os fluxos de crédito entraram em colapso na sequência da Grande Recessão, as receitas orçamentais diminuíram, os governos foram forçados a socializar com o passivo do sector privado e a dívida e os défices orçamentais dispararam.

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