Adiós a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalán Analyst

Después de 13 años de escribir en este blog prácticamente sin interrupción, hoy lo doy por clausurado. Esto no quiere decir que me haya jubilado de la red, sino que he pasado el relevo a otro blog que sigue la misma línea de Nihil Obstat. Se trata del blog The Catalán Analyst y de la cuenta de Twitter del mismo nombre: @CatalanAnalyst . Os los recomiendo.

Muchas gracias a todos por haberme seguido con tanta fidelidad durante todos estos años.

viernes, 13 de enero de 2012

Una estrategia para salir del euro

Robert J. Barro:
Germany could create a parallel currency—a new D-Mark, pegged at 1.0 to the euro. The German government would guarantee that holders of German government bonds could convert euro securities to new-D-mark instruments on a one-to-one basis up to some designated date, perhaps two years in the future. Private German contracts expressed in euros would switch to new-D-mark claims over the same period. The transition would likely feature a period in which the euro and new D-mark circulate as parallel currencies.

Other countries could follow a path toward reintroduction of their own currencies over a two-year period. For example, Italy could have a new lira at 1.0 to the euro. If all the euro-zone countries followed this course, the vanishing of the euro currency in 2014 would come to resemble the disappearance of the 11 separate European moneys in 2001.

A key issue for the transition is to avoid sharp reductions in values of government bonds for Italy and other weak members of the euro zone. After all, the issue that has prompted ever-growing official intervention in recent months has been actual and potential losses of value of government bonds of Greece, Italy and so on. Governments and financial markets worry that these depreciations would lead to bank failures and financial crises in France, Germany and elsewhere.

Worries about values of government bonds are rational because it is unclear whether—even with assistance from the center—Italy and other weak members will be able and willing to meet their long-term euro obligations. A new (or restored) system of national currencies would be more credible, because Italy should be able and willing to meet its obligations denominated in new liras. This credibility underlay the pre-1999 system in which the bonds of Italy and other euro-zone countries were denominated in their own currencies. The old system was imperfect—notably in allowing some countries to have occasionally high inflation—but it's become clear that it was better than the current setup.

My prediction is that an announcement of the new system would raise the value of German bonds, because Germany has strong individual credibility and would no longer have to care for its weak neighbors. Even Italian and other weak-country bonds are likely to rise in value because concerns about individual credibility would be offset by the improved functioning of the overall system.