Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pricing EU break up using the Soviet breakup

Gillian Tett, my favourite columnist, recently drew parallels between Russian break-up in late 80s and a possible breakup of EU. The general lessons are critical when politicians consider the future of EU. But what I want to point out is a little different.

Today a lot of analysts talk about default of Greece being priced in. Some also say market understands the price of breakup of EU. I would like to see a paper that uses Soviet breakup of mid-80s and then draws up a scenario for EU breakup, in terms of costs, markets and general investment trends. That analysis will be more meaningful. One may deduce a milder process of EU breakup learning from the Russians.

Gillian Tett talks about some differences in institutional infrastructure. She believes presence of central banking, expertise on monetary policy etc. will stand EU in good stead. However, she points out, todays economies are far more integrated than the isolationist (my insertion) Soviets. It is possible we may be effectively pulling the rug from under our feet.