Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hans-Werner Sinn — Secular Stagnation or Self-Inflicted Malaise?

Hans-Werner Sinn calls for "creative destruction."
The only way out of the trap is a hefty dose of creative destruction, which in Europe would have to be accompanied by debt relief and exits from the eurozone, with subsequent currency devaluations. The shock would be painful for the incumbent wealth owners, but, after a rapid decline in the dollar values of asset prices, including land and real estate, new businesses and investment projects would soon have room to grow, and new jobs would be created. The natural return on investment would again be high, meaning that the economy could expand once again at normal interest rates. The sooner this purge is allowed to take place, the milder it will be, and the sooner Europeans and others will be able to breathe easy again.
Creative destruction = liquidation. As Sinn recognizes, it would blow up the EZ. Well, that one way to do it.

Project Syndicate
Secular Stagnation or Self-Inflicted Malaise?
Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich, was President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council


Ralph Musgrave said...

Load of convoluted BS. There's nothing wrong with the method of escaping recessions favored by MMTers, i.e. print more fiat and spend it, and/or cut taxes.

But professional economists don't like that solution: it's too simple. Professional economist just love complexity and jargon: that's what keeps them employed.

Ignacio said...

There is a school of thought (mostly coming from "Austrians" and crap like that) who believes that you need cyclical liquidations to "purify" the system. Is mostly moralist crap.

Is not unlikely those same are positioned in a way (a lot of liquidity) that would profit from buying cheap assets on a general liquidation.

Corporations fail all the time and whole industries have been rendered outdated without any short of general crisis. Technological progress does not require any cyclical liquidations, it requires investment.

Maybe we should push 'debt jubilees' just to screw the liquidationists waiting to profit from disaster.

Andrew Anderson said...

Is mostly moralist crap. Ignacio

No, it's immoral crap since one wrong, theft by inflation, is not cured by another wrong, theft by deflation.

Ignacio said...

I didn't make any judgment on the 'rightness' of it, that's the problem with morality, they will argue is the 'right' thing from their PoV (and it may be from an individual point of view), even if it's a fallacy of composition.

Things rarely move forward when you boggle down on morality debates when the position is diffuse for most of the population, as it's the case. In general is a good idea to ignore moral arguments in that case, IMO (even if it appears to be 'wrong' for you, is better if you have better arguments).

Liquidationism, even if it was 'right', still is wrong because the outcome is worse, don't even need to get into moral arguments.

Tom Hickey said...

IN a capitalist system, creative destruction is happening all the time through the results of competition in more or less fair markets.

Scuhmpeter's view of creative destruction is not chiefly aimed at liquidation in recessions, although recession do weed out weakly capitalized firms. However, that a firm is weakly capitalized does not imply that it is weak competitively.

Forced liquidation favors highly capitalized firms and individuals with a lot a financial capital that can pick up bargains that are greatly undervalued owing to circumstances rather than competition in a fair market at "equilibrium." In other words, it’s the periodic "shocks" rather than poor performance that "weeds" firms out through liquidation.

Of course, monopoly capital loves this periodic creation of "bargains" through finance capitalism and teetering government.

It's an aspect of predatory capitalism