‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ sang the Rolling Stones in 1969. Jagger wasn’t singing about economic policy, but it’s a sentiment felt keenly by policy-makers the world over. They often face difficult choices between conflicting objectives.
Dani Rodrik, political economy professor at Harvard, has described an ‘inescapable trilemma’ at the heart of the world economy: we can have two of democracy, national sovereignty and open markets – but not all three fully and simultaneously.
As Europe’s elite desperately searches for a solution to stave off economic Armageddon, they face a similar trilemma. Technocrats’ assumption of power in Greece and Italy are cases in point. Continue reading