Monday, October 13, 2014

13/10/2014: Germany: Too Old to Read Paul Krugman or Rescue Europe


You want to know WHY Germany ain't 'saving Europe' in a fashion favoured by Paul Krugman? Read this:

Key point, of course, is demographics. Germany already experiencing shrinking working age population pool. And this process is only going to accelerate.

Here are 2009 projections for worker/retired ratios in economies:
Source: http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/st319.pdf

This shows Germany as second worst-off economy to Italy. And here (from the above source) estimates of pensions and health liabilities:

In 2012, Germany already had second lowest income replacement ratio for new entrants into workforce, meaning its capacity to fund future cost increases without hitting directly the retirees is now pretty much exhausted:

Source: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/finance-and-investment/oecd-pensions-at-a-glance_19991363

And here's a table of projections for public spending on pensions, showing Germany accelerating spending as share of GDP earlier than other comparable economies:


All of which means that Germany is not in a position to ramp up leveraged fiscal expenditure or investment. It has no fuel to move itself, let alone the Euro area. So stop calling on Germany 'to do the right thing'. It is too old to read Paul Krugman.
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