Incoming Citigroup Chief Economist Willem Buiter believes Greece still has it within their means to prevent a national default. In the video below, he discusses with Bloomberg what the crisis in Greece means not just for the Greeks but also for the Brits, Americans, Irish, Portuguese, Italians – all of whom have less than ‘pristine’ government finances. What happens in Greece is pivotal for the global economy because a default there would likely trigger distress elsewhere.
As for talk of unsustainable deficits, it seems premature to start worrying about inflation and higher interest rates when we are still in a deflationary environment. I don’t buy Buiter’s arguments on Labour’s loss of fiscal credibility mandating some pain upfront. Government should wait until it sees the ‘whites of inflation’s eyes’ before firing anti-stimulus bullets. And if they do begin firing, addressing future liabilities (everywhere) or military spending (US only) is just as effective as cutting other present discretionary spending.
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Originally published at Credit Writedowns and reproduced here with the author’s permission.