Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From "buy local" to "hire natives" to "invest at home (not abroad)"

Many of EU & world problems stem from systemic imbalances due to uneven freedoms for capital vs services, people/labour even goods.

It seems some policy makers et al in some EU members think that the Chinese market is more attractive than EU Single Market. A grave strategic mistake!

The China imports slowdown is bad news for those EUropeans who think exports to China can replace Eurozone & rest of EU Single Market ones.

Note that German's exports have rebounded in June after a bad month in April and a record month in March (should one try to correlate them with the exchange rate of the Euro?).

The inflation curbing policy (or obsession) of the ECB that has led to an expensive Euro for much of the 11.5 years since the introduction of the coins and notes, makes exporting to Eurozone easy. Exporting from Eurozone is the Herculian task!

In other words, the Euro exchange rate has been eroding most if not all Eurozone economies for most of the Euro years. Even Germany's. In a way, the bailouts of the GIPs are the price the Eurozone/EU is paying for the ECB/Bundesbank perennial obsession against inflation that hurts Eurozone biz, exports and tourism (especially Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece).

Are there socio--economic & poitical forces in Germany that have had enough of the uber hard DM/Euro obsession of Bundesbank/ECB? One would hope so, beceause then there is hope for a less destructive Euro exchange rate policy (that could also require a change in the mandate or powers of the ECB (almost typed: Bundesbank).

Otherwise, a key strategic option is the activation of an "Economic Fortress EU" that ought to include:

a) Exit from the WTO and reliance of specific case-by-case agreements of the EU with other countries (eg USA, Canada, India, China, etc) or groupings thereof (eg ASEAN, Mercosur or UNASUR, ACP, etc). Those could include agreement not only on trade of goods, but also services, intellectual products (and protection of intellectual property (see ACTA and the Singapore WTO agenda), economic migration, and of course capita movement/relocation).

b) Upgrading of the 4 freedoms inside in EU Single Market.

Will come back on both (a) and (b) in future posts.

My point is: capital, goods. services, labour & people should enjoy same level of freedoms at global or regional scope. The latter is more feasible

Another point is that the EU Single Market has to offer members benefits non-EU countries/economies should not have, ie more value.

Humanity has moved from city states to nation-state and now moving to region/continental-states. Like empires, globalisation is too unstable. Regionalisation will inter alia be good for the environment

Direct globalisation has failed. There's no global free movement of services & labor even goods. Why not build walls 4 capital then? Only route is via phase of regionalisation (NAFTA, EU, UNASUR, ASEAN, etc) with some links (capital, trade, services, labour/people) between regions

From "buy local" to "prefer to hire natives" only short step to "invest at home (not abroad)". That is not the solution. The solutions are at regional/continent level. And maybe someday, the global one.


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Nick

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