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Krugman: They Have Made a Desert
And called it successful adjustment. Matthew Yglesias marvels at European policy makers who consider Latvia a success story. And their satisfaction is indeed something wondrous to behold. Here's a comparison:

A few more such successes and Latvia will have no economy at all.
Iceland defaulted. What can Bini Smaghi say about this?

Yglesias: The Latvian Catastrophe

Klaus Regling, chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility, wants you to know that monetary union without fiscal integration is workable after all and he offers, as an example, Latvia:
Latvia which has a currency pegged to the euro, testifies to the success of this policy. Contrary to commentators who predicted disaster for Latvia early last year unless it gave up its hard peg - in line with advice from the commission - it did not devalue its exchange rate. A real effective devaluation was achieved through severe cuts in nominal income. Today its economy is growing again. Those outside "experts", who always seem to know what is good for Europe, should take note.
So to be clear about this, the Latvian economy suffered a 4.2 percent contraction in 2008. By way of comparison, in the horrible year of 2009 the US economy contracted 2.44 percent. So that was a very bad recession, much worse than the American recession. At this point, so called "outside `experts'" predicted disaster for Latvia in early 2009 unless it devalued its exchange rate. Latvia declined to devalue and its GDP shrunk 18 percent! That's the disaster right there. Overall GDP growth for 2010 is forecast to be slightly negative again. So, yes, Latvia has returned the growth. But the toll was terrifyingly high.
I despair, I truly do.

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 02:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A real effective devaluation was achieved through severe cuts in nominal income.

Oh, here's a German admitting that what Germany did and continues to do is called "real effective devaluation"?

Germany has been cheating on us all along?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 17th, 2010 at 02:54:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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