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but that's my point - it's not obvious to me yet that the devaluation/inflation route is any less painful than the austerity route.

There was a bubble, ie a perception of more wealth than there really was, and there needs to be a downwards adjustment of sorts. The questions are how big it is, and who bears the pain.

My point is to say that the bigger problem is the allocation of pain rather than the size of the crash. Asset owners, in particular financial asset owners, are protected at the expense of workers. Austerity ensures that, but it can certainly also happen under devaluation/inflation, depending on which policies go along.

I don't think there's anything today that cannot be solved by high marginal tax rates and severe re-regulation (and breakup) of banks.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 07:29:24 AM EST
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