Euro’s Future—When Will Rioting Start?
By: Bob Pisani
On the future of the euro, and when the serious rioting might start.
I read dozens of articles and analyst reports each week; the most interesting piece I saw this week was an interview in the German newsmagazine Spiegel with economic historian Hans-Joachim Voth.
Voth has examined the history of 28 European countries over the last 90 years. His conclusion:
1) “Austerity and anarchy are closely linked”
2) “Savings [budget cuts] amounting to just one percentage point of GDP are accompanied by social unrest. And when they reach two or three percentage points, it massively increases.”
The cuts being asked in Greece — and likely Italy — far exceed two to three percentage points. The debate on the Italian austerity budget begins in Parliament next week.
Nor are they likely to be implemented: “There’s no reason to believe that the scale of reforms currently needed to move things forward economically is politically feasible.”
On the future of the euro: he gives the euro another five years, but says it is Germany that should quit the euro, not Greece: