Back from travel! (But more crazy travel next week)
So, the euro crisis is risk on again. And this time it’s centered on Spain — which in a way is a good thing, because now the essential craziness of the orthodox German-inspired diagnosis of the crisis is on full display.
For this is really, really not about fiscal irresponsibility. Just as a reminder, on the eve of the crisis Spain seemed to be a fiscal paragon:
What happened to Spain was a housing bubble — fueled, to an important degree, by lending from German banks — that burst, taking the economy down with it. Now the country has 23.6 percent unemployment, 50.5 percent among the young.
And the policy response is supposed to be even more austerity, with the European Central Bank, natch, obsessing over inflation — and officials claiming that the incredibly foolish rate hike last year was actually something to be proud of.
I’m really starting to think that we’re heading for a crackup of the whole system.