Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ECB Needs to start Printing.

The printing press is the only way Europe can stave off an Italian default and a catastrophic credit crisis.

All available evidence suggests that even a major intervention by ECB would not lead to stampeding inflation. As Krugman noted with regard to Japan, "printing money is only inflationary if people spend it, and if that spending exceeds the economy's capacity to produce." The reason Europeans are not likely to go on a extended spending spree is that no one fears that the Eurozone countries are going to use the ECB to monetize their debt. Given this belief, personal debt levels in countries where there were real estate bubbles, Europe's shrinking and rapidly aging population, and the massive excess capacity in Europe and indeed the whole Western world, spending is likely going to be quite subdued and certainly nothing that would strain current productive capacity.

Finally, if there is any inflation at all it will be Europe's core economies, principally Germany, and far from being a bad thing, inflation there is precisely the kind of relief the periphery needs right now. The higher the rate of inflation in Europe's core the less Europe's periphery will need to rely on deflation to become competitive.

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