Cada vez que eu vejo algum repórter especial da Globo News (o canal da desinformação brasileira) entrevistando algum mandarim sobre a atual crise econômica na Européia (meus momentos preferidos são quando o William Waack chama a bancada do PSDB inteiro para vaticinar sobre um assunto que mal entende ou quando Jorge Pontual exibe seu habitual anti-americanismo), pergunto-me: Por que ainda não entrevistaram o Spengler?
On paper, there’s no crisis at all, only a negotiation. Italy, Greece, and other failing companies put their assets up for sale, and allow the Chinese and other Asians to take over the corporate monopolies on which the system of state corruption is founded. Bondholders take a loss, some of the European banks go bankrupt, and they in turn are sold off to foreigners. It took a few months to arrange all of this in Thailand in 1997.
The trouble is that the whole of the southern European political structure lives off corruption, and a large part of the population has been corrupted as well. Without control of the assets that otherwise should be auctioned off to foreigners, the politicians and their hangers-on will be fleas on a dead dog. That is to say that the sort of solution that looks good on paper is one that would not include a role for most of the people who currently wield power in Greece and Italy.
Germany is just as paralyzed as Italy or Greece. Most Germans know perfectly well that the countries where they vacation are corrupt to the hilt, because they pay for their summer home by wiring money to a bank account in Liechtenstein. No-one actually pays full price above board for a home in Umbria or Mykonos. In that case, the seller would have to pay taxes.
Although the German public is resigned to southern European bankruptcy, the German government is not; the entire political class of Germany is dedicated to European solidarity as an antidote to German nationalism and cannot imagine throwing the Greeks under the bus (that is, pushing them out of the Euro). So the Eurocrats spin one unworkable, unacceptable bailout scheme after another. And each time the Greeks display their empty pockets and grin. Both sides are existentially incapable of doing what is required. Neither Eurocrats nor Greek (or Italian) politicians would find employment in the post-crisis world.
That is what keeps the market in a state of near-panic. There is no way to align the players for a solution except by pushing the situation to, and perhaps over, the brink. To put the Italian (let alone the Greek) political class into receivership, it may require actual, national receivership: banks shut their doors, pension checks aren’t mailed, oil refiners close, tankers are turned back at the ports for lack of cash. I do not think any such thing will occur. Nor do I think that an Italian national bankruptcy will mean much for the world economy.
Remember that two thirds of the world’s population (China, India, peripheral Asia, Latin America) is still enjoying strong economic growth. The US economy is weak but not crashing. Europe is a big chunk of the world’s GDP, and it is crashing, but its importance is diminishing by the year. It’s not the end of the world; it’s just the end of the Europeans.
Para um sujeito que se tornou um notório pessimista, até que deixou uma nuvem de otimismo no ar.