Europe’s Crisis of Values

Lovely op-ed from Soros regarding Europe and the Euro issue today, see below for more

By creating the European Central Bank, the member states exposed their own government bonds to the risk of default. Developed countries that issue bonds in their own currency never default, because they can always print money. Their currency may depreciate, but the risk of default is absent.

By contrast, less developed countries that borrow in foreign currencies may run out of currency reserves. When a fiscal crisis hit Greece, the financial world suddenly discovered that eurozone members had put themselves in the position of developing countries.

There is a close parallel between the euro crisis and the Latin American debt crisis of 1982, when the International Monetary Fund saved the international financial system by lending just enough money to the heavily indebted countries to enable them to avoid default. But the IMF imposed strict austerity on these countries, pushing them into a prolonged depression. Latin America suffered a lost decade.

Source: Project Syndicate

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