Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kein taboo?

One of the reasons for this "exercise" is my general philosophy that we need to challenge all economic, political/policy and other theories and practices in order to either make them stronger or revamp them.

IMO the current level of European unity makes no sense!
Either a) full union (USA or FRG style) or b) simple EFTA (would) make more sense (and be more stable systemically).

Is EU and Euro "architecture" structurally unstable due to faulty (step-by-step) design (compare eg with the federal USA or the Federal Republic of Germany)?

IMO the fundamental issue is whether majority of 500++ million Europeans have the esprit to unite into a single (federal) entity. If they do, then full Union (a la USA) must be next step, if hey do not then the current wishy-washy "EU" is max or beyond max?

EU already has 50+ years of step by step, the US may have had its share of step-by-step but it had a Constitution and it was built in different era (when events moved slower in general) and was still "faster" (eg Constitution) in the key areas than the European Integration. Hence, the EU IMO needs to take into account the US experience in federalism instead of dismissing it as irrelevant (eg the "we do not want a USE")

Now, as per EU lesson from the so called "Greek crisis": Build real Union (political, economic, fiscal, monetary, military/security) as originally intended after WWII. Let us recall that a European Political Community and a European Defense Community were considered in the 1950s and vetoed by France! I am not blaming France for the non creation of EPC & EDC in the 50s, just pointing that such unions in Europe were and are not unthinkable.

So, eg what can the EU do to help members like Greece reduce their high annual military expenses (Greece is No. 1 in the EU as a % of GDP (eg 4.3% of GDP in 2005))? A European Defense Community or Union would create economies of scale and that do that. How many of the 27 member states had implicit national security reasons for joining the EEC or EU? Well, let us not forget why the 3 ECs were created back in the 1950s by the founding 6; the fundamental reasons were not economic or nuclear or carbon and steel. These were "vehicles". Plus at least 10 other countries, 1 in the 1980s, 1 in the 1990s and 8 (6+2) in the 2000s had IMO very strong national security reasons for joining a European "union".

Re the common currency: In 1990 at INSEAD, my American Economics prof explained that a currency union in absence of a strong federal budget is doomed by design.

What has been the effect on Eurozone exports to the world from POR, GR, SP, FR, BEL, FIN, IRL etc of ECB interest rate policy in the last 10 yrs? And services such as Tourism? Note the relationship between the Euro and the USD, the Pound, the Yen and the Yuan these years!

To what extent is the Euro 2002-2008 a "victim" of
a) China's 2001 WTO entry and
b) ECB Euro parity policy 2002-2008? (food for thought)

In 90s were firms from SP, POR, GR, FR, BEL, IRL etc warned they would have to become "German" in order to be able to export after 1999/2002?

A more general question (ie goes beyond the Eurozone), for the whole EU: Is the main conflict of interests in the EU
a) between national economies or
b) between multinationals+large intl exporters & micros-SMEs?

Is departure from the WTO the only viable way for the US & EU to regain #manufacturing and for the EU to make the Euro viable?

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Thus:
When CSU suggests that Greece should leave the Eurozone (see article "Conservatives suggest Greece leave Euro currency union" April 24 2010, in The Local (Germany's news in English)

one can ask:

Should GRE or GER leave? Not a taboo topic, richtig!
The Euro needs an inflation & central interest rate policy that makes the Euro competitive vis-a-vis USD etc ie conducive to exports
Who decided to make the Euro so hard vis-a-vis USD etc, 2001-2008? Did anyone consider effect on exports and tourism of GR, SP, POR, IT, IRL, FR, BEL, and other members that do not produce products and services that have US and world that is inelastic to price (assuming most German products and services are)?

Kein taboo, right?

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I propose as food for thought
the article "The Coming European Debt Wars" by prof. Michael Hudson, in GlobalResearch,ca

Plus:

In an interview to the SPIEGEL English edition, April 19, the German Finance Minister W Schäuble told it like it is re Greek crisis etc
Also:
April 16, 2010: "Greece May Spur German Rethink, Morgan Stanley Says" BusinessWeek

Comments on the above article: For the sake of argument,
let's assume that there were to be 2 Euros:
a) One in traditional DM mentality (min inflation at all costs)
b) a softer friendlier to exports
one.
How many of the 15 (26) would join the first one (other than GER) and how many the other? Food for thought!

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BRs
Nick

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