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In the latest edition of On the Economists’ Minds, SocGen’s Michala Marcussen reveals that the #1 client question right now is: Will the euro area switch to a new diet?Basically, is Europe going to somehow inch away from the German-favoured austerity, and embark on some shceme that might actually have a reasonable shot of bringing some growth.
This was definitely the buzz of the past week. As we wrote on the morning of the 24th, the jig appears to be up for Germany. Between the likely Hollande victory and the Geert Wilders-inspired torpedoeing of the Dutch austerity scheme, there’s now a serious counterweight to the idea that austerity and confidence will solve everything.
Other European leaders talked about the need for growth, not just austerity, this past week. Macrussen points out something we’d missed, which is that the EU’s Herman van Rompuy even called for a “Dinner For Growth” to take place in June ahead of a big summit.
It’s all still very inchoate. Nobody is actually yet calling for a scheme that allows more government spending to boost some demand. Still it’s mostly about “reforms” designed to foster growth. But things have to start somewhere, and a change in the tone is welcome.
One other note: Reuters is out with an article called Global Policy Shifting From Austerity Toward Growth. That has to count as some key marker of a shift.
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