Marta Dominguez se estrena en Letras Libres con un bonito texto sobre “una de las figuras más importantes para la gobernanza económica de las últimas décadas, tanto por la batalla que ganó como por la que perdió”: Paul Volcker, nueve décadas contra la inflación. Un párrafo: “Si hay algo en lo que coinciden todos aquellos que trataron con Volcker es en su profunda integridad. Un servidor público de los de antes (…)  Demasiado alto para no resultar tosco, demasiado taciturno para no intimidar a aquellos que poco conocía, dicen que era un hombre tímido en las distancias cortas con un gran sentido del humor. Austero y frugal como sus políticas, cuentan que cuando el asiento del conductor de su coche se hundió, lo aguantó con una silla en vez de cambiar de coche”.

Greg Mankiw, en su blog,  enlaza a un reciente ensayo sobre la Teoría Monetaria Moderna:  A Skeptic’s Guide to Modern Monetary Theory ((pdf). Son apenas nueve páginas. El resumen: “In the end, my study of MMT led me to find some common ground with its proponents without drawing all the radical inferences they do. I agree that the government can always print money to pay its bills. But that fact does not free the government from its intertemporal budget constraint. I agree that the economy normally operates with excess capacity, in the sense that the economy’s output often falls short of its optimum. But that conclusion does not mean that policymakers only rarely need to worry about inflationary pressures. I agree that, in a world of pervasive market power, government price setting might improve private price setting as a matter of economic theory. But that deduction does not imply that actual governments in actual economies can increase welfare by inserting themselves extensively in the price-setting process. Put simply, MMT contains some kernels of truth, but its most novel policy prescriptions do not follow cogently from its premises“.

– Entrevista en Libération de Jean Quatremer a Benoit Coeuré, en la que el ex vicepresidente del BCE defiende que los votos individuales deberían ser públicos (y que cada cual asuma su responsabilidad), aborda la eutanasia del rentista y hace algo de autocrítica. En inglés o en francés.

Algunas reflexiones:

One of my regrets is that we haven’t managed to convince the German public of the merits of our policy. On the one hand, monetary policy always and everywhere affects the balance between saving and consumption via interest rates. If it didn’t do that, it would serve no purpose! And on the other hand, in a period where unemployment skyrockets, growth slows or there is the threat of deflation, as was the case in 2012 and 2014, it is normal for the ECB to be on the side of employment.

“The existential crises we went through, first with Spain and Italy in summer 2012 and then with Greece in summer 2015, and the actions of one man, Mario Draghi, who was President of the ECB until November this year, gave us the necessary maturity to make full use of the instruments granted to us by the treaties. Does this mean that we have become like the Federal Reserve? In a certain sense, yes, because we are equipped with a comprehensive toolbox to support the euro area economy at all times, using tools like quantitative easing inspired by the US model, and the capacity to intervene in the markets. But there are also significant differences.

We probably started quantitative easing (QE) a little too late, though I’m not blaming anyone. It was a major innovation which required an immense effort of persuasion within the Governing Council”.

– Largo artículo de Martin Sandbu en Financial Times sobre el papel internacional del euro. Hablando con economistas de fuera y gente de muy dentro, como el propio Coeuré o el ex jefe de gabinete de Juncker, Martin Selmayr: Europe First: taking on the dominance of the US dollar. 

Una frase potente para iniciar: “It took the whirring sound of the helicopter blades on Marine One to reinvigorate Europe’s determination to no longer be subservient to the US dollar”. y  algo de perspectiva: “Europe’s monetary inferiority complex goes back a long way. Half a century ago Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then French finance minister, lamented Washington’s “exorbitant privilege” — the dollar’s pre-eminence that put Europe at a commercial disadvantage and helped provide the Europeans’ motivation on the long road to monetary union”.

Parte de lo que pide, por cierto, requeriría cambio en los Tratados, como le apunta Piris, que fue jefe de los servicios jurídicos del Consejo durante muchos años.

Anaïs Moutot  en Les Echos sobre cómo Evan Spiegel, el consejero delegado de Snapchat, sin ningún tipo de vínculo con el país, ha logrado la nacional francesa. Comment le PDG de Snapchat est devenu Français.  Le patron américain a été naturalisé français en septembre 2018. Il n’est pas résident et n’a pas de parents français mais a bénéficié d’un dispositif pour les étrangers « qui contribuent au rayonnement de la France ».