Wednesday, September 18, 2013

[NJFAC] a non-apology to the German Finance Minister

My grovelling apology to Herr Schäuble

By Economics  September 17th, 2013

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has been vindicated.

For my part, I have been wrong about everything. German discipline policies for the eurozone have been a tremendous success. I am ashamed for suggesting otherwise.

As the wise, patient, and always self-effacing Mr Schäuble writes today in The Financial Times, the Euro-sceptics talk and write relentless drivel.

"Ignore the doomsayers: Europe is being fixed" is the headline:

The eurozone is clearly on the mend both structurally and cyclically.

In just three years, public deficits in Europe have halved, unit labour costs and competitiveness are rapidly adjusting, bank balance sheets are on the mend and current account deficits are disappearing. In the second quarter the recession in the eurozone came to an end.

So there we have it. The problem is solved. How can I not have seen it? How can any of us on this blog thread have missed it?

I apologise for mentioning that unemployment is 27.8pc in Greece, 26.3pc in Spain, 17.3pc in Cyprus, and 16.5pc in Portugal, or for pointing that it would be far worse had it not been for a mass exodus of EMU refugees. Nor was is proper to mention that Greek youth unemployment in 62.9pc. These are trivial details.

I apologise for pointing out that the EU-IMF Troika originally said the Greek economy would contract by 2.6pc in 2010 and then recover briskly, when in fact it contracted by roughly 23pc from peak-to-trough, and will shrink another 5pc this year according to the think-tank IOBE. This slippage is well within the normal margin of error.

I apologise for mentioning that the debt trajectories of Spain, Greece, Italy, and Ireland have accelerated upwards under the austerity plans, and therefore that the policy has been self-defeating.

It was quite uncalled for to point out that Italy's debt ratio has jumped to 130pc of GDP, or to so suggest that debt cannot keep rising on a contracting nominal GDP bas[e], and I will wash my mouth soap if I ever utter the words "denominator effect" again. It is shabby to use such cheap language.

I apologise for mentioning IMF studies showing that the fiscal multiplier is three times higher than first thought by EU officials in EMU crisis states, and therefore that the contractionary effects of belt-tightening are far greater than first calculated

.... keep reading:

Thanks to Paul Krugman's blog. j
National Jobs for All Coalition

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