Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Euro isn't a glove, it's a Chinese finger trap

Tyler Cowen posts on Is there an easy way out of the eurozone? He notes it would be harder than Robert Barro thinks.

I agree. My comment:

Barro’s is the Euro-as-glove argument. You can slip it on, and slip it off just as easily.

I like the Euro-as-Chinese-finger-trap argument. Once you’re in, you aren’t going to get out of it.*

*Germany can’t leave it easily, because it is owed some E500b by the ECB via the Target2 settlement system. Leave it and lose it. The PIIGS can’t leave, because as Tyler points out, a bank run will immediately result. And if they dodge the run, they surely won’t be able to dodge euroization: citizens will spontaneously disengorge any newly-created liras/drachmas/etc in favour of the already-circulating and vastly superior Euro.

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