Sunday, January 08, 2012

Here's An Idea: Let's Improve Things By Making Everybody (Else) Suffer

Surely no one could object.

On balance, debt restructuring plus “internal” or “fiscal” devaluation -- difficult as it may be -- looks preferable. Explicit wage cuts, and the recession needed to induce them, don’t have to carry the whole burden of cost adjustment. A combination of increased value-added tax and lower payroll tax (Greece could easily do both) mimics a currency devaluation by raising the price of imports relative to the price of exports, lowering real wage costs by stealth. They should be part of the mix.

Default and leave the euro. Really a much better plan. The choice between Iceland and Ireland is rather simple.