Monday, May 14, 2012

Repost--I Bet Poland is Glad it Hasn't Adopted the Euro

We just heard from a friend that this post had disappeared from his feed-reader and when we looked at the blog, it was gone from the internet. Very curious.
Original post:
In his new book "Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles" Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging market equities and global macro at Morgan Stanley calls Poland and the Czech Republic the "sweet spots" in Europe.

As members of the EU who have not adopted the euro they have monetary flexibility that other EU members would kill for.
Although scheduled to begin using the euro in 2015 Poland's bankers have not expressed any great urgency about getting there.

Here's the WSJ's Emerging Europe blog:
Polish Central Bank Governor Hopes Euro Won’t Break Up Accidentally

Poland’s central bank governor, Marek Belka, said in remarks published Monday that he hopes the euro zone will reform itself to be stable again, and that it doesn’t suffer a messy breakup.
“I hope not,” Mr. Belka said, according to the central bank’s news website, when asked about the euro’s possible breakup in an uncontrolled way.

He has previously said the euro is likely to survive, but not necessarily with all of its members, and that the collapse of the European Union’s single-currency would be “as if a volcano erupted at a neighbor’s place.”
The euro zone’s members are visibly tired of budget austerity, applied as the cure for the crisis that roils the bloc, he said. Spain isn’t ready for more austerity, and further budget cuts won’t likely be possible in Greece.
“Even Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says someone there needs to get a higher salary,” Mr. Belka said in comments posted on the central bank’s website.

The euro zone needs budget discipline “like air” and political will, coupled with budget deficit limits in the European Union’s new fiscal agreement, is the prerequisite of such discipline, he said. The euro zone’s fiscal compact seeks to gradually set constitutional public debt ceiling at 60% of economic output, a limit that has been in the Polish constitution since 1997....MORE
Concerning that flexibility, Bloomberg reported this morning:
Poland’s “persistently” high inflation rate and solid economic-growth figures in the first quarter prompted policy makers to raise borrowing costs last week, central bank Governor Marek Belka said.
The Narodowy Bank Polski in Warsaw raised its main rate by a quarter-point to 4.75 percent on May 9. The bank’s policy remains “accommodative” and policy makers are ready to react if the economic outlook worsens, Belka said in an interview for the bank’s today.

The tightening came just before the European Commission raised its economic-growth forecast for Poland to 2.7 percent, the fastest seen this year in the European Union, citing domestic demand and public spending on the Euro 2012 soccer championship. The economy expanded 4.3 percent last year and was the only EU country to dodge a recession in 2009....MORE