lunes, diciembre 03, 2012

EN EL WSJ, Simon Nixon: la unidad del euro continúa desafiando a los catastrofistas:
The pessimistic view is that the euro zone is in the grip of an austerity-induced downward spiral from which there is no sign of escape. This view—encouraged by the International Monetary Fund's analysis of fiscal multipliers and shared by some typically skeptical of Keynesianism—suggests the periphery's debts will ultimately prove unsustainable.

The alternative view is that the euro zone is suffering a balance of payments crisis caused partly by a loss of competitiveness and fueled by doubts over the euro zone's survival. On this analysis, the removal of those doubts combined with steps to boost competitiveness will allow capital to return to the periphery and borrowing costs to come down.

The fact that foreign investors are returning, bond yields are falling and financially stressed euro-zone countries are regaining competitiveness—albeit at a terrible price in high unemployment—suggests the optimists may be vindicated again in 2013.

Particularly encouraging is the growth of Spanish exports, which have matched those of Germany and contributed to a balance of payments surplus. With a fair wind from the global economy, the hope is that the euro zone can pull out of recession in the second half of 2013 once the latest fiscal measures have worked through the system.

But there is one risk often ignored by both sides: while economists tend to pay little attention to banks, policy makers are increasingly realizing that the ability of the financial system to extend credit is crucial to recovery. The Bank of England last week demanded a major review of U.K. bank balance sheets amid concerns that an impaired banking system is causing the economy to turn Japanese, starving healthy businesses of credit.