[Chris Simms] pointed out that central banks have always had a wider mandate than simply guaranteeing price stability; they’ve always served as lenders of last resort, including having a standby capacity to finance the government in times of need. And there are good, well-understood reasons for this wider mandate. Yet the creators of the euro essentially threw away hard-won wisdom — stuff that Bagehot knew in the 19th century! — to create a stripped-down central bank without the powers or flexibility that history has shown are necessary. What were they thinking?
The result of all this is that the supposedly sober, serious people are actually radicals insisting that we can make the economy work in ways that it has never worked in the past — hence the embrace of magical thinking on expansionary austerity and the power of structural reform. Meanwhile, the irresponsible bearded professors are actually the custodians of traditional wisdom.
And those who are determined to forget the past run a high risk of reliving it — which is why we’re in the state we’re in.
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