Dags att skingra myterna om statsskulden

19 mars, 2015 kl. 19:31 | Publicerat i Economics | 2 kommentarer

Vid en analys av den svenska depressionens förlopp är det viktigt att ha klart för sig att statsskuldens snabba tillväxt inte har utgjort någon orsak till krisen utan istället varit ett symptom på nedgången i ekonomin. I själva verket skulle krisen ha blivit djupare om inte mycket stora underskott i de offentliga finanserna släppts fram … Krisförloppet innebar en överflyttning av en given skuldbörda från privat till offentlig sektor. Någon ökning av folkhushållets totala skuldsättning har inte kommit till stånd.

debtEn nödvändig privat skuldsanering utgör alltså kärnan i den svenska depressionen … Man måste också fråga sig hur krisen skulle ha utvecklat om den offentliga sektorn inte hade accepterat att utgöra en — förhoppningsvis tillfällig — ‘parkeringsplats’ för den privata sektorns alltför stora skulder …

De stora budgetunderskotten kan ses som ett resultat av en omfattande ‘socialisering,’ där den offentliga sektorn kortsiktigt bidrar till att lyfta av den privata en alltför stor skuldbörda …

Statsskuldsutvecklingen spelar idag en viktig pedagogisk roll som indikator på den fara som ligger i dröjsmål med det ekonomisk-politiska reformarbetet. Endast under hotet om statsbankrutt förefaller Sveriges riksdag förmögen att fatta beslut om begränsningar av statens utgiftsåtaganden.

Hans Tson Söderström

Tyvärr lika sant idag som för 20 år sedan — och det säger en hel del om kvalitén på den svenska statsskuldsdebatten bland politiker och ekonomer.

 

2 kommentarer

  1. Statsbankrutt för Sverige? Hur skulle det ens teoretiskt kunna vara möjligt?

  2. ”This policy of stagnation is likely to continue, since governments are preoccupied with inflation and the public debt. Budget deficits can only disappear if private investment soars again. This is unlikely in view of excess capacity, which would only disappear if there were fiscal expansion.”
    Josef Steindl, “Stagnation Theory and Stagnation Policy,” Cambridge Journal of Economics 3, no.1 (March 1979), Josef Steindl,

    ”While it is possible, in principle, to control the volume of government spending or taxation, the same is not true for the budget deficit. This is determined by the level of GDP resulting from the interplay of lending and borrowing of the various sectors. Let me refer to the well-known identity

    ( I – SB) + (X – I) + (G – T) = (SH – H)

    Which says that the budget deficit G – T together with the borrowing of business I – SB and of the outside world X – M equals the lending of households (i.e., excess of household saving SH over investment in dwelling houses H) of households SH – H.

    Which of these sectors plays an active role depends on institutional circumstances. The budget deficit, in connection with Keynesian policies, used to be regarded as an active element, incurred on purpose by the government. In present circumstances it is more likely to play a passive role, and to be dominated by the other sectors. This is due to the large share of taxation in an additional GDP, to the strong and quick reactions of consumers to a change in income and to the fact that the foreign balance is more often dominated by outside influences than by domestic policy (by the GDP). In consequence attempts at reducing the budget deficit by retrenchment are mostly doomed to failure…

    If the foreign account is balanced, the budget deficit has simply to fill the gap between the household financial saving and the borrowing of business. This will apply to some approximation in countries where the role of the foreign balance is small as compared with that of other sectors. It will fully apply to all countries taken together because they form a closed system. For them the budget deficit given the financial surplus of the households, will be largely settled by the amount of private investment. On the other hand, in countries where the foreign balance can take large values it will, together with private investment, dominate the size (and sign) of the budget deficit. In both cases the budget deficit is predominantly suffered rather than contrived.

    The conclusion is not pleasant to contemplate for the treasurer because it means that he can control the deficit, if at all, only by indirect routes: Business investment, and a fortiori the foreign balance, are not easy to control.”
    Josef Steindl, “The Control of the Economy”, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, pp. 235-248, 1983


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