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The Greek government has failed utterly in reining in its deficit through tax raises and spending cuts

Unless you have a plausible story about how removing the Greek sovereign deficit would have repaired the foreign balance, it would have been pissing into the wind. The debt load would have increased just the same, and judging by Greece's Mediterranean neighbours it would have increased by means of a speculative real estate bubble.

That is, unless you can make the case that the Greek sovereign (a) had a larger import quota than the Greek private sector or (b) spent the money in ways that materially degraded Greece's ability to obtain hard currency, eliminating the sovereign deficit would not have prevented the crisis. It might have brought it forward, by inducing a business depression due to demand shortfall, or it might have made it bigger by inducing a private sector bubble. But wage suppression always eventually comes back around to bite someone in the ass with a demand-side depression, and the wage suppression was going on outside Greek jurisdiction, so it's a little hard to blame them for that.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 at 12:36:01 PM EST
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