Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rogoff on Europe and the IMF (amv)

Click here for a very insightful article by Kenneth Rogoff. Teasers:

The IMF needs to bring much more of this brand of skepticism to its assessment of eurozone debt dynamics, instead of constantly seeking strained assumptions that would make the debt appear sustainable. Anyone looking closely at Europe’s complex options for extricating itself from its debt straightjacket should realize that political constraints will be a huge obstacle no matter which route Europe takes. 
Even outside Europe, the IMF has long given too much credence to sitting governments, rather than focusing on the long-term interests of the country and its people. The Fund is doing Europe’s people no favor by failing to push aggressively for a more realistic solution, including dramatic debt write-downs for peripheral eurozone countries and re-allocating core-country guarantees elsewhere. 
Now that the Fund has squarely acknowledged the huge capital holes in many European banks, it should start pressing forcefully for a comprehensiveand credible solution to the eurozone debt crisis, a solution that will involve either partial breakup of the eurozone or fundamental constitutional reform. Europe’s future, not to mention the future of the IMF, depends on it.
Since I don't see how the current incentive system can bring about a beneficial constitutional reform, we are left with Rogoff's other proposal: a partial breakup (check also Henry Kaspar @ Kantoos).