Tuesday, April 16, 2013

16/4/2013: One question, Mr Market, please...

A uncomfortable question:

Faith seems to have no bounds once sentiment shifts. The Market seemed to have maintained confidence in EU's crisis-fighting 'measures' despite the fact that Cyprus case revealed an obvious lack of any real crisis-fighting 'measures' to-date.

The entire periphery-fixing policy tool kit in Europe - now into the sixth year running - still boils down to

  1. Rolling out unfulfilled promises (ESM banks-sovereigns break, OMT, a banking union, fiscal policies coordination, fiscal supports for growth - do recall that EU keeps talking about the need to 'support' growth and yet does nothing about providing such supports), 
  2. Dogmatic ECB stuck in a rates and money supply policies that neither ease currency and interest rates pressures, nor provide a break from the failed transmission mechanism, and 
  3. Internal devaluations of the worst kind (ad hoc loading of debt on economies already carrying too much debt & lack of reforms in the real economy - keep in mind, setting deficit targets ≠ reform). 
So would The Market please run this by me: What HAS changed between Ireland 2008 (the beginning of the euro crisis) and Cyprus 2013 (it's latest iteration) other than the channels by which more debt is being piled onto over-indebted economies hit by crisis?

Well, not much. Yesterday, IMF has issued a statement on Greece (that's right - the second country that was 'repaired' by the EU approach to crisis, ...and then repaired again... and again) claiming that with the fourth round of 'reforms' promised, Greece is now (still?) on a sustainable debt path. Never mind that the 'sustainable debt paths' so far for Greece have meant debt/GDP ratios bounds for sustainability rising from 'under 120%' within Programme 1 to 'under 200%' within Programme 4.
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