Thursday, June 07, 2012

George Soros - remarks on the Euro

Rocking Jude pointed towards a recent George Soros Speech about EU crisis (among other things) via Business Insider, which I believe is a must read. Here are some diverse but important issues:

  1. Soros highlights "you cannot reduce the debt burden by shrinking the economy, only by growing your way out of it." which I agree with. However, those forcing the governments to austerity may do well to remember that in the end, government enjoy a kind of legitimacy that they don't. So if push comes to shove, the politicians will roast them alive and announce a victory parade while they are at it. One of the  solution to a debt crisis is to eliminate the creditor. History bears witness to many such "eliminations" (a few of them quite physical).
  2. The objective of the economic studies should not be search for Newtonian-like laws but rather seeking engineering objectives of "fail safe" and "factor of safety" into regulation, policy and economic system as a whole. The current risk management system is falling woefully short.
  3. Two-level currency system: An ideal currency system, I think, may be a two level currency system. A currency at the national level should signal the relative prices of goods and services in the economy. An international currency should signal the confidence in the judgement exercised in national currency. The international currency therefore decides the relative prices of currencies and thus of everything.
  4. The problem of EU is that at current position it is unsustainable. It has either to go forth (towards complete integration) or go back (break-up). Mustering the political will to forth in such climate is challenging as Soros highlights.