Monthly Archives: September 2011

Can the euro be saved?

Yes, it can.

The real question is whether there is a coalition of the willing to move beyond rhetoric and do what it takes. A related question is whether those with the power to save the euro have the democratic mandate to do so.

Events this summer laid to rest any remaining doubts that the European monetary model is flawed, and ultimately unsustainable in its current form. 

There is a broadening consensus forming around the need for deeper economic and fiscal integration to steady the ship. ‘Eurobonds’ have been the rallying call of the left as a means of effectively cross-subsidising weaker eurozone members, and there is certainly much of merit in this idea. ‘More Europe’ may be part of the answer. Continue reading

Lessons for Ireland from Obama’s Jobs Plan

Barack Obama knows that his 2012 re-election chances may hinge on his ability to tackle unemployment which has remained stubbornly above 9%. With the US purse strings in the vice-grip of a US Congress controlled by a Republican Party with a deficit fetish, he knows better than to expect help from this quarter.

If more fiscal stimulus is impossible, whether because of real funding constraints, as in Ireland, or because of purely political constraints, as in the US, then the next best approach is to get more bang from the government buck. It is this concept, formally known as the ‘balanced budget multiplier’, that underpins President Obama’s latest jobs plan. Continue reading