Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The debate was about what Greece would do to restore productivity and/or competitiveness and get a grip on its debt.

No, that was the debate you wanted to have.

The debate we are actually having is about what the Eurozone should do to counter foreign accounts imbalances.

The debate you wanted to have is about Greece, and Greece alone.

The debate we are actually having is about both Greece and the countries who run a persistent CA surplus against Greece. And the optimal solution to the problem is for them to reduce their surplus - or, to put it in Swabian Housewife Economics terms, to reduce their competitiveness.

Why on earth would Greece, in your opinion, want to go the "New Drachma" way? Even though that is, by all reasonable predictions, incredibly painful?

Because being a German colony is more painful.

If Greece had gone full Argentina two years ago when this manufactured crisis began, it would be out of the woods by now, and the pain would have been considerably less than what it has already experienced, nevermind what attempting to comply with increasingly ridiculous creditor extortion will require.

The only advantages are that Greece could
  • create high inflation in a number of ways
  • print serious amounts of money (which creates high inflation as well).

  • Devalue its currency relative to the €-Mark, thus pushing the unemployment created by Hartz I-IV back to Germany, or to whatever suckers stay in the Eurozone.
  • Reassert sovereign control of its domestic economy.

    (Oh and your second bullet is bullshit - printing money does not create inflation. This is the sort of Swabian Housewife Economics that caused the crisis in the first place.)

    As long as Greece actually strives for a hard currency, it could stay in the Euro just as well, default or not.

    A hard currency confers no benefit to Greece. For that matter, a hard currency confers no benefit to 99 % of Germans either. But the Germans get to vote for their governments, a luxury the Greeks do not enjoy these days.

    - Jake

    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

  • by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:33:48 AM EST
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