At The Financial Times: Rachman vs. Wolf, two petty-bourgeois hacks debate Greek debt reduction/forgiveness. Almost Marx on the possibility of an Enlightened Neo-Liberalism?

Mr. Rachman’s hysterically charged first few paragraphs :

Syriza have won the Greek election. But, perhaps just as startling, the “far left” party is making considerable headway in the struggle to win over elite opinion in the west. Many mainstream economists and policy makers are so alarmed by the state of the Greek economy that they have come to agree with Syriza’s argument that the only solution is to make a radical cut in Greece’s national debt, which stands at 175 per cent of gross domestic product.”Greece’s debt needs to be right-sized,” one senior anglophone policy maker told me in Davos. “And the Germans should remember they benefited from official debt relief in the 1950s.” Letters from Nobel Prize winners and several opinion pieces in this newspaper have made similar arguments.Unfortunately, an explicit Greek debt write-off would cause more problems in Europe than it solved. Three main negative effects could be expected. First, it would cause a political backlash in northern Europe, which would strengthen far-right and nationalist parties. Second, far-left and anti-capitalist parties would gain credibility in southern Europe and would press for similar debt writedowns, as well as much expanded social spending — something that would lead to a collapse in market confidence. Third, the breakdown in trust between members of the EU that would follow a Greek default — even a negotiated default — would make it much harder to keep the EU together.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9af36742-a555-11e4-bf11-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3Q2Qb5bhv

Mr.Wolf’s opening paragraph:

Sometimes the right thing to do is the wise thing. That is the case now for Greece. Done correctly, debt reduction would benefit Greece and the rest of the eurozone. It would create difficulties. But these would be smaller than those created by throwing Greece to the wolves. Unfortunately, reaching such an agreement may be impossible. That is why the belief that the eurozone crisis is over is mistaken.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/44c56806-a556-11e4-ad35-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Q2Qb5bhv

Almost Marx

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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