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Imports would also had to be cut, and the competitivness of export companies increased, as we have discussed in other places.

Well, yes.

But it is not immediately obvious how this has any simple, mechanical relation to the sovereign balance.

A great idea is to avoid massive wage inflation that is completely disconnected to productivity increases...

Has this actually happened? Do we have time series for Greek wages and productivity around here somewhere, or are we talking out of our posteriors here?

Furthermore, nothing requires that foreign balance deficits must be balanced through the issuance of debt, private or public. It can just as well be financed by foreign entities aquiring equity in domestic companies.

Ah, the foreign direct investment pony. I was wondering when that one would show up.

Thing is, when all traditional avenues of (neo-)mercantilist policy have been choked off, Greece is left with precious few policy options to encourage FDI. And most of them are bad for both the Union and, in the medium term, for Greece.

Speculative real estate bubbles can be reined in with regulation,

Yes.

But, again, it is not immediately apparent how this will repair the foreign balance.

Certainly, you can repair the foreign balance by gutting demand so far that your economy stops importing food and fuel. Please refer to Suharto's Indonesia for the results of that and get back to me if you still think that's a good idea.

- 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 05:27:57 PM EST
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