Sims o neizvjesnosti i fiskalnim slabostima eura, 1999.

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Ovo nema direktne veze sa zaslugama za Nobelovu, ali ima sa Simsom. SEEbiz kaže da je “akademija u Stockholmu ipak napravila određeni otklon od dosadašnje prakse da pri donošenju odluke zanemaruje aktualna zbivanja…” Možda, iako se ne bi tako brzo složio. Primjerice, Sims osim Nobelovih zasluga je i jedan od osnivača fiskalne teorije nivoa cijena.

U radu 1999., dakle na samo pragu uvođenja eura, Sims je koristeći tu teoriju analizirao slabosti europskom monetarnog projekta. Sims započinje i motivira svoj rad sa vrlo poznatim Sargent-Wallace radom iz 1981, rad koji i Nobelov komitet citira.

It has been recognized, at least since Sargent and Wallace (1981), that sufficiently irresponsible fiscal policy could cause problems for monetary policy, but this has been treated as no more than an important footnote to the central role of monetary policy.

Nakon pregleda teorije, Sims je opisao slabosti i potencijalne opasnosti za projekt Europske Monetarne Unije.

It is striking that the Maastricht accords spell out in great detail the institutional arrangements for a common monetary system while providing no correspondingly detailed structures for coordination of fiscal policy. The accords even seem to reflect a belief that eliminating relationships between fiscal authorities and the central bank guarantees monetary stability. …

Before I proceed, let me note that I am only going to describe what seem to me to be potential hazards and pressures on the system. I think it is unlikely that EMU can long survive with the degree of vagueness and weakness in the associated fiscal structure that currently characterize it. This does not mean, though, that the EMU cannot long survive. One possible response to pressures as they arise is that fiscal institutions can emerge and adapt as necessary in order that EMU survive.

Country default, if it occurs, will be a major blow to the defaulting country’s economy and financial system. EMU members are all sovereign states with recent histories of having run their own monetary systems. They will all still have central banks, of a sort, and central bankers. If a country were in such distress that
its interest rates rise substantially above those of other EMU members and that it thereby came to the brink of default, it seems very likely that it would leave the EMU and restart its independent monetary system. It would thereby revive the option of gentle, uniform, and partial default via inflationary finance and devaluation. If markets put some credence in this scenario, they will react to an EMU member’s fiscal distress much the way they have historically reacted to a fragile commitment to a fixed exchange rate. Rising interest rates on debt will fuel speculation that drives the rates up even faster, increasing fiscal distress further, in a rapid spiral leading to crisis.

Even one such crisis would threaten the future of EMU, as it would likely breed contagion effects in other countries. It seems to me, therefore, that the EMU must pay attention to fiscal coordination and to attempts to keep interest rates unifor-m. Country bankruptcy may have to be contemplated as a remote possibility, but welcoming its threat as a source of fiscal discipline seems foolhardy.

Opet, ovo je Sims 1999.

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