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In the Central Bankers, Central Wankers department:

FT.com: Europe cannot default its way back to health by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi

Europeans have not forgotten the devastating effects that the expropriation of wealth, such as that carried out during the two world wars by way of inflation or defaults, may have on the economic and social fabric. There is awareness that, in the end, it may be less costly to tackle excessive public debt with the traditional remedies - that is, achieving an adequate level of primary surplus - rather than looking for quick fixes. There is also awareness that, without restoring economic growth, the debt burden cannot be reduced over time. This requires major structural reforms aimed at improving the functioning of the labour, capital and goods markets.

...

To understand what is happening in Europe, economics textbooks are useful but the history ones even more so.

The writer is a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank

(h/t Eurointelligence)

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 17th, 2010 at 09:27:56 AM EST

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