Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Hapless Union Has Lost Its Direction

Edward Chancellor

There are many economic challenges around the world today. The US teeters on the brink of default, deleveraging continues across the west, cracks are appearing in China’s fixed asset investment boom, Japan remains stuck in the deflationary doldrums, while inflation is picking up in emerging markets. None of these problems, however, is as intractable as those facing the euro zone.
It is common to view Europe’s woes in terms of a crisis of public finances. Greece, after all, owes a lot of money to its European neighbors. The markets have also started to question Italy’s sovereign debt, which is currently around 120 per cent of GDP. Yet rising credit spreads among the periphery of Europe are a symptom of deeper troubles within the monetary union . . . . .

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