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domenica 13 ottobre 2013

Unione Europea e USA contro i greci

Unione Europea e USA contro i greci: come il Fondo Monetario Internazionale si spaccò nel 2010


Curiosamente l'articolo di alcuni giorni fa del Wall Street Journal, in cui si svelava la drammatica spaccatura avutasi nel maggio 2010 tra esponenti del Fondo Monetario Internazionale riguardo il piano-salva Grecia, non sta avendo l'eco che meriterebbe.

Cosa avvenne? Il 9 maggio 2010 il FMI presentò il piano di salvataggio della Grecia, nonostante circa il 40% dei suoi membri lo criticasse aspramente, tanto che si arrivò ad accusare il piano come predisposto "non per la Grecia, ma per la zona euro", ossia utile a permettere ad alcune nazioni europee (specie Germania e Francia) che le proprie banche si liberassero dei titoli di stato greci, ormai divenuti carta straccia. Cosa che poi effettivamente avvenne.

Il piano venne approvato, nonostante tutto, solo perché le nazioni facenti parte dell'Unione Europea e gli USA, forti della maggioranza nel Fondo Monetario, non vollero recedere dalle loro posizioni, imponendo condizioni basate su stime troppo ottimistiche, ma il cui unico scopo non era realmente il bene del popolo greco, quanto quello di alcuni investitori stranieri, tanto da non prevedere forme di ristrutturazione del debito o modalità di intervento utili in caso di situazioni meno rosee. Si decisero perciò condizioni capestro, con gli effetti che abbiamo visto: stipendi massacrati, svendita del settore pubblico, disoccupazione galoppante.

Eppure, ripetiamo, circa il 40% dei membri del Fondo ebbe parole durissime contro il piano. Qualche esempio (IMF Document Excerpts: Disagreements Revealed, The Wall Street Journal, 7 ottobre 2013):

  • l'esponente svizzero, Rene Weber, affermò che c'erano "dubbi considerevoli sulla fattibilità del piano. [...] Anche la minima deviazione negativa dalle previsioni renderebbe insostenibile il debito", chiedendosi inoltre "perché la ristrutturazione non venne presa in considerazione".
  • l'esponente brasiliano, Paulo Nogueira Batista, parlò di "rischi immensi" e di "piano concepito non per la Grecia, che sarà sottoposta a condizioni devastanti, quanto per salvare investitori privati, specie europei".
  • l'esponente argentino, Pablo Andrés Pereira, affermò come "molto probabile un peggioramento delle condizioni della Grecia dopo l'adozione del piano".
  • l'esponente indiano, Arvind Virmani, previde, in forza dell'assunzione di tale piano, "la caduta dei prezzi, l'aumento della disoccupazione e il conseguente calo delle entrate fiscale, rendendo fallimentare il piano stesso".
  • l'esponente cinese, He Jianxiong, parlò di "rischi significativi, a causa di previsioni di crescita ottimistiche".

Ulteriori critiche vennero mosse anche dagli esponenti della Russia, dell'Australia, del Canada, dell'Iran e altri. Tutti ebbero una chiara visione di come le cose sarebbero poi andate a finire. Grottesco, perciò, sentire l'attuale direttore del FMI Christine Lagarde affermare, nel giugno 2013, che "nel maggio 2010 non si poteva immaginare la necessità di una ristrutturazione del debito, né che la situazione economica si sarebbe deteriorata così velocemente".

Rimane da capire perché queste rivelazioni ora. Per Mauro Bottarelli, potrebbe c'entrare in qualche modo lo spettro di durissime class actions, col conseguente tentativo da parte degli speculatori di raschiare il fondo del barile un'ultima volta e poi volar via come uccell di bosco, lasciando tutti gli altri con i cocci vuoti e rotti (I nuovi giochi degli speculatori sulla Grecia, Mauro Bottarelli, Il Sussidiario, 12 ottobre 2013).

Ma potrebbe, in qualche modo, c'entrare anche il paventato cosiddetto divorzio tra Fondo Monetario e Unione Europea (sempre a detta del Wall Street Journal). (Grecia, il Wall Street Journal: “Fmi e Unione Europea vicine al divorzio”, Francesco De Palo, Il Fatto Quotidiano, 11 ottobre 2013). Divorzio derivante anche da quanto accaduto in quel maggio del 2010.

  • Past Rifts Over Greece Cloud Talks on Rescue (Thomas Catan + Ian Talley, The Wall Street Journal, 7 ottobre 2013):
The International Monetary Fund proceeded with its record 2010 bailout of Greece despite deep internal divisions over whether it would work, according to confidential documents that contradict the fund's public statements.

The new details of the rift come as the crisis lender is now pressing European governments to forgive some of the country's debt in a fresh round of difficult talks. The idea is unpopular with Germany and other European nations because their taxpayers would take the hit. But it stands a chance because the IMF is now making future support conditional on significantly reducing Greece's debt burden.

The topic will be high on the agenda when finance ministers from around the world gather in Washington this week for the IMF's annual meeting.

The fund's determination to see Greece's debt burden reduced stems in part from lingering bitterness over how the first bailout was approved at a contentious May 9, 2010, IMF board meeting, according to some fund officials. The cache of papers documenting that decision—marked "Secret" or "Strictly Confidential" and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal—offers a rare glimpse inside the IMF as the international emergency lender struggled to avert a rapidly unfolding financial disaster.

Nearly a third of the board's members, representing more than 40 non-European countries, raised major objections to the bailout's design at the meeting, according to the internal records. Many objected that it placed all the burden of a painful adjustment on the Greeks while asking nothing of its European creditors. Several suggested the bailout was doomed to fail unless Greece's creditors reduced some of the financially troubled country's towering debt burden.

"The alternative of a voluntary debt restructuring should have been on the table," Argentina's then-executive director at the IMF, Pablo Andrés Pereira said at the 2010 meeting. The fund, he said, risked merely "postponing, and maybe worsening the inevitable"—a Greek debt default.

Directors from Brazil, Russia, Canada, Australia—representing 38 additional countries—worried about the "immense risks" of the program, according to minutes of the meeting. The program could prove to be "ill-conceived and ultimately unsustainable," Brazil's executive director at the IMF warned, or simply "a bailout of Greece's private-sector bondholders, mainly European financial institutions."

U.S. and most European directors, representing more than half of the IMF board's voting shares, were able to win approval for a program that required the Greek government to adopt wrenching spending cuts and tax increases. It included no debt restructuring, such as forgiving principal, reducing the interest rate on the debt or stretching out the payment schedule to make servicing easier. That spared the holders of the debt—chiefly European banks—the losses that would have come with restructuring.

Some of the IMF dissenters at the meeting and some IMF staff believe the interests of the European powers were placed above those of Greece, which has seen its economy contract by a fifth since 2009 and its jobless rate reach nearly 28%. That helps shape the IMF's position today going into the negotiations with the Europeans over debt restructuring, according to some current and former fund officials.

"The Greek bailout was not a program for Greece, but for the euro zone itself," one participant at the 2010 meeting says today.

The 2010 documents show that several IMF directors were deeply skeptical of the staff's economic projections from the beginning, calling them "rather optimistic," "overly benign," even "Panglossian."

An IMF spokesman said the lender still expects a recovery in Greece as its economic overhaul takes effect. "But we are more conservative than before, and we certainly realize it will take longer for Greece to catch up on the growth side," he said.

In several key respects, the confidential documents rewrite the story of the biggest bailout in IMF history.

For instance, then-IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters after the May 2010 meeting that the fund had "no doubt" that the bailout would work. But behind the scenes, a considerable share of non-European directors had expressed serious doubts—and even anger—about the bailout plan, according to board-meeting minutes, staff briefs and board-member comments written in the days before and after the meeting.

The scale of the fiscal adjustments to be required of Greece would be "a mammoth burden that the economy could hardly bear," India's former director at the IMF, Arvind Virmani, told the meeting. He questioned whether the magnitude of the belt-tightening that the IMF was expecting would cause the rescue program to fail and the country to default on its debt.

Efforts to reach Mr. Strauss-Kahn for this article were unsuccessful. The IMF has since, though, conceded some failures. In hindsight, it had been too rosy about the financial projections that underlay the program, it said in a report in June.

IMF officials always have maintained that they didn't think Greece would have to restructure its debt when the rescue program was approved in 2010.

"In May 2010, we knew that Greece needed a bailout but not that it would require debt restructuring," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a June interview. "We had no clue that the overall economic situation was going to deteriorate as quickly as it did."

By early 2011, as it became clear that Greece's debt had become unsustainable, the IMF did advocate Greece's debt be restructured, an IMF spokesman said.

But the IMF documents show there were heated discussions about the need to write off part of Greece's debt from the start. At the May 2010 meeting, directors from Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin American countries repeatedly asked why they weren't being presented with the option.

European directors were "surprised" when Switzerland "forcefully" weighed in on the dissenting side, the minutes show. "Why has debt restructuring and the involvement of the private sector in the rescue package not been considered?" the Swiss executive director, Rene Weber, asked at the time.

The IMF says today that debt restructuring simply wasn't feasible in 2010, because the risk of Greece's financial turmoil spreading to other countries was so high.

Much of the debt was held by already fragile French and German banks, so European nations wouldn't consider it. And the U.S. feared its own trillion-dollar exposure to European banks.

Ms. Lagarde was French finance minister at the time and keen to avoid losses by her country's banks, which had lent heavily to Greece. Mr. Strauss-Kahn—widely known to be angling for the French presidency at the time—backed off a tentative effort to press the issue after encountering European opposition before the IMF meeting.

The June 2013 IMF staff report conceded "notable failures" in its first Greek bailout while concluding the fund had broadly followed the right policies. "An upfront debt restructuring would have been better for Greece although this was not acceptable to the euro partners," it said.

In retrospect, the report said, the "program served as a holding operation" that allowed "private creditors to reduce exposures…leaving taxpayers and the official sector on the hook."

Several IMF directors had warned of just that outcome three years earlier. The program "may be seen not as a rescue of Greece, which will have to undergo a wrenching adjustment, but as a bailout of Greece's private debtholders, mainly European financial institutions," Brazil's executive director, Paulo Nogueira Batista, said at the May 2010 meeting.

The doubters were ultimately proved right. Greece couldn't meet its financial targets and required a second bailout in 2012. The remaining private creditors took a haircut as part of the largest debt restructuring in history.

Greece's debt has ballooned since then as the economy collapsed, forcing euro-zone governments to now confront the prospect of a third bailout in which they would also forgive some of Greece's debt.

2 commenti:

  1. Spero possa aggiungere questo:
    http://1millionpoints.blogspot.it/

    RispondiElimina
  2. Collegamento gìà presente da mesi: è il primo dei "link identitari".

    RispondiElimina