Em 1997, alertava Mundell (negrito por minha conta):
Greece’s debt is 110 percent of GDP, and short-term interest rates are over 12 percent. If the drachma were stabilized against the mark at a rate that lent confidence to the parity, and if monetary policy were adjusted along the lines of a currency-board arrangement, interest rates would descend toward the German level (as have, recently, the interest rates of Italy, Spain, and Portugal), drastically cutting interest payments on new debt; because the average maturity of the debt is not much more than a year, the full benefit of interest reductions would be experienced in one year, slashing the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP toward the 4-percent level.
Greece is an important country in the European Union, given its history in Europe, its strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean, and its potential in the services industries. Europe’s commitment to Greece is manifested in the heavy transfers it makes every year. It is in Europe’s interest to wean countries like Greece and Portugal from these transfer payments and the best chance to do so is to help Greece to establish the conditions for bringing its economy into macroeconomic balance. That could best be achieved by allowing Greece to enter the EMU. If 14 countries were to qualify for EMU, and Greece made a concerted effort to bring its economy into balance, the marginal cost of allowing Greece to enter would be small compared to its huge benefits. For that reason, while it is a long shot, it is possible that all countries of the European Union could become a part of the EMU by 1999.
A referência: Currency Areas, Common Currencies, and EMU, The American Economic Review, Vol. 87, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Hundred and Fourth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1997), pp.214-216
Bem, uma tradução possível de to wean é desmamar (ou largar um vício, desabituar). Quando a crise de 2008 começou, eu me lembro de ter encontrado este artigo e enviado para alguns amigos e alunos. Sempre que leio novamente este texto eu começo a gargalhar porque eu me lembro dos arautos do “fim da economia/fim da ortodoxia/fim da economia mainstream” que acusavam os economistas de não terem conseguido resolver todos os problemas do mundo.
Basta ler o trecho acima para ver o que dizia Mundell. Pode-se acusá-lo de qualquer outra coisa, menos de não dizer o que sabíamos que deveria ser feito. Muita gente ganha com esta história de “crise da teoria”, como já lembrei antes (veja o vídeo abaixo).
Pois é, pessoal, o buraco é mais embaixo. Bem mais embaixo…