National Post

Europe fixes debt with more debt
National Post

Anybody remember the last G20 Summit? Hard to forget. It’s only been — what? — six months since the event, held in Pittsburgh last September. The words of our leaders, triumphant and self-congratulatory, still ring out today. Boasting of having launched “the largest and most co-ordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus ever undertaken.”

The subprime government debt crisis, the direct product of the above-mentioned summits and other meetings of the world’s economic and political leaders, produced another threat. The European Union, its members sliding into stimulus debt and losing market confidence, would again do “whatever is necessary” to end the crisis, restore confidence and protect the euro.

Whatever is necessary turns out to be more of the same. The amazing European and IMF economic stimulus machines will tackle their debt crisis with a new strategy: More debt! Already racked with rising deficits and debt loads that are in dangerous territory, the EU plans to fix the problem with US$1-trillion loan packages. And if the debt doesn’t work, they’ll crank up monetary policy and have the European Central Bank buy up government bonds and private bonds of banks that are lending money to the governments.

The great muddle of Keynesian economics is crashing in on statists everywhere. The spending that was supposed to save Europe and the world economy is driving it to ruin. The Keynesian economists and forecasters who promised it would work and were plucking “green shoots” out of the economic desert failed to see the debt crisis rolling up behind them. As Peter Foster wrote on this page last week, the world is in the grip of Keynesian contagion, not the private or capitalist meltdown so many of the G20 leadership blamed when the crisis first struck.