Salient to Investors:
Fareed Zakaria said:
- The data is increasingly convincing that the Keynesians have been right, cutting spending in the kind of recession we have gone through will only hurt growth not help it.
- But spending on its own is not enough. For sustained growth in the long-term, countries also need structural reforms; lower tariffs, opening up protected industries, making it easier for new business to start-up, streamlining regulations.
- Japanese rice farmers are protected by a nearly 800 percent tariff on imported rice. Greek workers, before the crisis began, in its vast state-owned industries worked 35 hours a week, were paid for 14 months a year, and could retire with full pensions in their 50s.
- Some of the best anti-austerity voices, including Paul Krugman, dismiss the idea that there is a need for structural reforms, that these are simply plans to hurt workers and help greedy capitalists. But over the last several decades, reforms have been crucial to growth. After the Asian economic crisis, the countries that opened up their economies grew strongly. Chile’s free market reforms in the 80s and 90s set the stage for its long boom, and Mexico’s deregulation over the last decade has been paying off. Canada, Germany and Sweden, in the wake of their own economic crises in the 1990s, undertook major, market-friendly reforms and made their welfare states more sustainable.
- Greece and Italy will not get sustained growth simply from stimulus spending and easy money without getting rid of rigid labor markets, high labor costs and inefficient and protected industries and guilds.
- Italy ranks 73rd overall on the “Doing Business” survey from the World Bank.
- Part of Japan’s failure to get sustained growth was because it never reformed agriculture, retail and other protected industries; despite spending $6.3 trillion on construction alone between 1991 and 2008.
Martin Wolf at The Financial Times said:
- The IMF basically told Britain to do a bit more spending now and a little less spending a year or two from now and is really small beer.
- Britain threw away its option of borrowing more and the economy flat-lined, stopped growing, and the recovery was aborted.
- The policy the BoE was pursuing was ineffective partly because the British banking system is not fixed.
Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post said:
- There are different austerity debates: what’s happening in Britain is unlike what’s happening in Greece or the US.
- Greece does not have the option of borrowing because nobody will lend to them so are forced to undergo a budget-cutting process which probably they should have undergone a decade ago.
- The Polish economy is very closely linked to the German economy.
- Britain is in danger of is at risk of eliminating itself if it doesn’t jump into Europe more fully, as it has the opportunity still to be a leading power inside Europe.
Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1305/26/fzgps.01.html