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"Asked about his position by e-mail, Mr. Issing answered indirectly, saying that countries that break the rules of monetary union -- as Greece did -- should have to fend for themselves."

Isn't that a way of saying that Germany must leave the Euro?
When was the last time that Germany had a debt <60% of GDP? I can't seem to recall the Commission fining them too much though.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 02:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the article by Issing that motivated the NYT to write this is the one quoted here.

FT.com: Slithering to the wrong kind of union

If these conditions do trigger reforms - which in many countries is long overdue - that would be welcome. However, the fact that a member country can be assured that its membership of the euro - even in the case of permanent violations of the rules - will be saved at any price causes moral hazard and creates an obvious potential for blackmail.

...

Suggestions as to how one might control and limit the issuance of such bonds are unconvincing. Almost all treaties promising European fiscal discipline have been broken time and again. The worst example was delivered by France and Germany in 2002-03, when they violated the Stability and Growth Pact, and even organised a political majority against the application of its rules.

The article is very strange, he basically accuses Greece of blackmail and moral hazard while admitting that Germany and France broke the rules when it suited them, with no consequences. And the article contains a veiled threat hat Greece should be expelled while admitting the treaties don't allow it.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 02:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, part of the dissonance is that the SGP is a pretty broken piece of work in the first place. My sense is that we don't want a Europe based around a strong, enforced SGP as it will just lead to collapse by a different route...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 05:18:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's what we're getting: reaffirming the SGP, "Eurozone governance" as a codeword for coercive enforcement of same, "constitutional debt brakes", and so on.

Double-digit private investment dips are not unexpected in recession years, but the SGP with its 3% limit makes no allowance for that, because the SGP is macroeconomic superstition.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 05:24:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, is there any rule against default?

Hey, I am going to lower my debt to 59% (to be within the "rules"): I just do not acknowledge any debt that puts me above that...

by cagatacos on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 03:31:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Legally, no. There is no rule against defaulting.

But the ECBuBa will do its dead level worst to crash your banks if you do. And its worst is pretty bad.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 03:55:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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