Tag Archives: Simon Wren-Lewis

“The banks and Austerity” – Simon Wren-Lewis

This link leads to Simon Wren-Lewis’ latest post. As such there is not so much in it that was not known yet, e.g. the role of German and French banks (not to mention Dutch banks), but it is always useful to have a reminder of how we ended up in this crisis (hint: it doesn’t have to do with public overspending in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland).

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‘The view from Germany ‘ and a book recommendation

This post by Simon Wren-Lewis is excellent, and this one by Paul Krugman is a more abstract version of the same thing. The point is (again and again) that what Germany wants most of the rest of Europe to do is simply impossible in current circumstances.

As a companion to this I would recommend the book Austerity: the history of a dangerous idea, by Mark Blyth (Twitter: @MkBlyth). It is simply excellent, well written and should be obligatory reading for any serious parlementarian. Anyone telling you we need austerity has political motives to slash the welfare state.

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Can Spain Achieve What Ireland And Latvia Did?

Can Spain Achieve What Ireland And Latvia Did?

‘Spain would do well to stay clear from the type of reform measures the Commission and the IMF are trying to sell to economies in distress.’

Some, especially in Finland, might find that there is a lot of critical posts regarding Olli Rehn (not as a person, as a representative of a certain set of policies). But please remember: all the talk of ‘recovery’ is extremely premature and in any case how can you call it a recovery when unemployment is so high (and rising in many places). Think of the Netherlands. Think of how things are going in Finland – not the aggregate numbers but the real-life stories of people losing their jobs.

 

In addition, as Simon Wren-Lewis writes, left- and right-wing extremism is surging thanks to the current politics. In the Netherlands the extreme right/populist Freedom Party as well as the extreme left Socialist Parties are surging in the polls. Also in Finland, especially now the crisis starts to bite, the political success of the True Finn party is virtually guaranteed in the next elections. This I have thought about earlier, and written on the blog here. The recent gallup by the Finnish daily shows that the opposition parties Center Party and True Finns are clearly on the rise, the former would be the biggest and the latter is as big as the National Coalition Party, which leads the current government. The Social Democratic Party is quite a lot smaller in this opinion poll that half a year ago (18,2% to 16,3%).