Excessive Sovereign Debt Outstanding in Advanced Economies
More details
Hide details
Publication date: 2014-08-31
GNPJE 2014;272(4):101–119
The author sets out to demonstrate that the United States and eurozone economies are suffering from insufficient international competitiveness and that their competitive position has not improved despite repeated attempts at boosting it. These unsuccessful attempts have been offset through sustaining effective demand in the real economy at the expense of worsened financial stability, the author says. In 2007, the United States and eurozone member states prevented their banking sectors from crashing by resorting to massive financial transfers. The private financial sector was strengthened at the expense of a rapid rise in public debt, Sulmicki notes, an operation that was largely financed through foreign portfolio investments. This has resulted in a feeling of unease among potential investors, amplified by rating agency evaluations reflecting the increasing risk of portfolio investments in developed country bonds. The question is what the future of indebted developed countries that have been unable to implement the necessary adjustment processes will be, the author says. Many of these countries are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain a policy of increasing debt levels and the amount of currency in circulation. They have been unable to increase their competitiveness because the governments are not willing to radically decrease the population’s standard of living. Such an approach leads to continued labor market problems and a rapid pauperization of the middle classes, a process that entails growing social dissatisfaction, Sulmicki concludes.