Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Your Fault

Martin Wolf:

Do creditors rule the world? Not really. In the short run, they can threaten to turn off the credit. But their surpluses depend on the willingness and ability of others to run deficits. It would be more sensible to admit that there has been too much borrowing by the profligate because there was too much lending by the supposedly prudent. Once it is understood that both are at fault, both must adjust. Imposing one-sided adjustment on erstwhile debtors will not work. As little Greece seems about to prove, debtors are able to inflict a great deal of damage on everybody – as the US discovered in the Great Depression. It would be a good idea to rediscover that reciprocal interest urgently, right now. Creditors do not sell to Mars. We are all on the same planet. Agree to fix its messes, right now.

It isn't said enough that it's the job of creditors to determine whether or not to hand money over to people. If banks make too many bad loans it's because they're bad banks that don't know how to do their jobs properly.