Martin Wolf is, according to many, the best finance and economics journalist in the world. From his perch at the Financial Times, he dispenses regular wisdom and concise opinion. And it's wisdom and opinion that's backed up by having done time on both sides of the major economic divide of the age: free markets versus central governments.
The ongoing eurozone crisis has involved all sorts of deep-dish coverage, ranging from sovereign debt bond-yield spreads to debates about tax policies and budget cutbacks, with gobs of court-intrigue political analysis and EU-ology thrown in. It's frankly dizzying. Also, the debate has gone exactly nowhere. The eurozone remains in crisis. Whatever political will is being deployed has been, it seems, devoted to perpetuating rather than resolving the problem.
Enter Martin Wolf, with a broadside that lays it all out in simple, basic terms:
The eurozone has no credible plan to fix the flaws of the eurozone, apart from greater fiscal austerity: there is to be no fiscal, financial or political union; and there is to be no balanced mechanism for economic adjustment on both sides of the creditor-debtor divide. The decision is, instead, to try still harder with a stability and growth pact whose failures have been both predictable and persistent.
Eurozone #FAIL. The eurozone crisis has been roiling markets for months (if not years) now. What many observers agree should be done won't be done. The "solution," apparently, is to hunker down and make populations suffer while the stateless architects of the crisis get to keep the single currency but will now manage a economic union that's more fractured than what the euro was supposed eliminate.
The eurozone is a mess. And now it will be an angry, miserable, mess for counties like Greece, Italy, and Spain, upon whom austerity has been forced. Or as Wolf writes: "To put it bluntly, the single currency will come to stand for wage falls, debt deflation and prolonged economic slumps."
Yep. What he said.