domingo, 14 de agosto de 2011

Lições da História e a Dívida Americana

Os EUA passam hoje por uma crise de confiança, que pode levar a uma crise de liquidez (como Itália e Espanha) e com menor probabilidade a uma crise de solvência. Christina Romer parece sugerir como evitar que a crise de confiança degenere em coisas piores, buscando lições da Grande Depressão e da Segunda Guerra Mundial:

"Finally, what about the national debt? Given the recent debt downgrade, it might seem impossible for the United States to embark on fiscal stimulus that would increase its ratio of debt to G.D.P.
Well, at the end of World War II, that ratio hit 109 percent — one and a half times as high as it is now. Yet this had no obvious adverse consequences for growth or our ability to borrow.
This isn’t hard to explain. Everyone understood then why the nation was racking up so much debt: we were fighting for survival, and for the survival of our allies. No one doubted that we would repay our debts. We had done it after every other war, and raising taxes even before the attack on Pearl Harbor showed our leaders’ fiscal resolve.
Today, we can do much more to aid recovery, including a near-term increase in our debt. But we need to make the reasons clear and make concrete our commitment to deal with the debt over time.
In place of the tepid budget agreement now in place, we could pass a bold plan with more short-run spending increases and tax cuts, coupled with much more serious, phased-in deficit reduction. By necessity, the plan would tackle entitlement reform and gradually raise tax revenue. This would be the World War II approach to our problems.
Equally important, someone needs to explain to the nation and to world markets just why we must increase the debt in the short run. Unemployment of roughly 9 percent for 28 months and counting is a national emergency. We must fight it with the same passion and commitment we have brought to military emergencies in our past."

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