Economics and politics - comment and analysis
27. November 2013 I Jörg Bibow I Countries and Regions, Europe

Mindless Austerity And Security Guards

I recently had the great fortune to listen to a speech delivered by Mr Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. This was in Athens on November 8 at the first Minsky Conference in Greece organized by the Levy Economics Institute. The title of the conference was “The Eurozone crisis, Greece, and the Austerity Experience”…


I recently had the great fortune to listen to a speech delivered by Mr Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. This was in Athens on November 8 at the first Minsky Conference in Greece organized by the Levy Economics Institute. The title of the conference was “The Eurozone crisis, Greece, and the Austerity Experience”. The conference was well attended by the interested public. As is typical of Minsky conferences as annually held in the United States, it brought together academic scholars, financial market practitioners, journalists, as well as policymakers, including Mr. Mersch, whose speech was titled “Intergenerational justice in times of sovereign debt crises” (see here). Mr Mersch played part in the negotiations of the Maastricht Treaty and has served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg since its formation in 1998, before joining the ECB’s Executive Board last year.

Apart from lauding Greece’s pension reforms as measures that were necessary in view of demographic trends, Mr Mersch hailed Greece’s achievements in closing its fiscal deficit as “remarkable”, describing the Greek austerity experience as a “fiscal adjustment of historic proportions”. That it truly was and Mr Mersch was keen to emphasize that th…
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