quinta-feira, março 17, 2011

Not Like a Virgin - bilateral responsability for trade deficits

In following the EU negotiations, it seems that the voices from Lisbon are too far away to be heard, in this center/periphery situation which is really a more traditional trade surplus/deficit situation.

According to an article in the EU Observer,  :

      "Germany meanwhile managed to force the commission to back down in its insistence that macroeconomic imbalances can also come from excessive trade surpluses. …with Berlin winning what is termed an 'asymmetric' treatment of trade surpluses."

Historically, Portugal was capable of many feats, but running up a trade deficit by itself was not one of them.
There are no “Virgin trade deficits” nor Virgin excessive debt accumulations. The exporter/creditor father’s DNA can be easily traced.  Excessive debt is created by the unprudent creditor as much as by the foolish debtor.

If we recall basic trade theory correctly, there will be no adjustment solution which will not involve the rebalancing trade flows, with reductions in the surpluses and cuts in the deficits.
However, even if we don’t fully understand the implications of the current Eurozone negotiations,   it seems that the dominant net exporter/creditor position is likely to win out,  as usual, forcing the full burden of the trade adjustment on the net importer/debtor side.

This cannot but worry us all, as it augurs nothing good for the internal stability of the Single Currency and the Single Market.
. . . . .
A dívida monstruosa  é criada tanto pelo credor imprudente como pelo devedor incauto.  E é fácil saber quem é, quem é,  o "pai do monstro".  Na dívida, como na vida,  não há filhos de pais incógnitos, apenas filhos de pais irresponsáveis.

Mariana Abrantes de Sousa
Sources:  Jornal de Negócios  ; EU Observer