lunedì 26 luglio 2010

Krugman e il clima. Il FMI batte cassa

Krugman se la prende con il Senato U.S.A. che non ha approvato la legge sulla regolamentazione ambientale... l'argomentazione è più da buon polemista che da scienziato:

So why didn’t climate-change legislation get through the Senate? Let’s talk first about what didn’t cause the failure, because there have been many attempts to blame the wrong people.
First of all, we didn’t fail to act because of legitimate doubts about the science. Every piece of valid evidence — long-term temperature averages that smooth out year-to-year fluctuations, Arctic sea ice volume, melting of glaciers, the ratio of record highs to record lows — points to a continuing, and quite possibly accelerating, rise in global temperatures.(...)
Did reasonable concerns about the economic impact of climate legislation block action? No.(...)
So it wasn’t the science, the scientists, or the economics that killed action on climate change. What was it?
The answer is, the usual suspects: greed and cowardice.
If you want to understand opposition to climate action, follow the money. The economy as a whole wouldn’t be significantly hurt if we put a price on carbon, but certain industries — above all, the coal and oil industries — would. And those industries have mounted a huge disinformation campaign to protect their bottom lines.(...) By itself, however, greed wouldn’t have triumphed. It needed the aid of cowardice — above all, the cowardice of politicians who know how big a threat global warming poses, who supported action in the past, but who deserted their posts at the crucial moment.

Ancora dal New York Times, un editoriale sostiene la richeista del presidente del F.M.I. Dominique Strauss-Kahn per un finanziamento straordinario di 250 miliardi di dollari:

This is a lot of money. Given its stake in the fund, Washington’s share could be about $42 billion. The fund should still get it. No one should forget that just a few weeks ago the I.M.F. had to commit nearly $40 billion to help stop Greece from imploding, and days later, it promised $320 billion to try to stop the euro from crashing.
At a time when an economic crisis can spread in seconds, the fund also needs to become more agile. It comes to the rescue usually only after a country is deeply in crisis, offering loans in exchange for painstakingly negotiated policy reforms. It has rightly begun to look at ways it can help head off crises before they start.
Last year, it started new “flexible credit lines” — preapproved unconditional loans for countries that meet tough macroeconomic policy criteria but could still get sideswiped as a crisis ripples around the world. The I.M.F. hopes that with this kind of guarantee the pre- approved borrowers may never need to draw on the loans. Now it is looking at “precautionary credit lines,” with conditions, for countries with weaker finances.
So far only Mexico, Poland and South Korea have lined up for the blue-ribbon “flexible credit lines.” Others have feared that doing so would signal weakness to financial markets. The “precautionary credit lines” may be even less popular. Still, the I.M.F. is right to be thinking this way.
Credibility is also essential for the fund to do its work. Right now it has far too little in the developing world, where it is seen as unfairly favoring wealthy countries. Developing countries noted that its loan to Greece amounted to 22 times Athens’s share of the fund’s capital. And many Asian nations — critical of the drastic budget cuts the I.M.F. demanded of them during the 1990s Asian financial crisis — are resentful of the relative lenience the fund has shown toward Europe.
The fund’s thinking has evolved in recent years. It must, of course, require borrowers to commit to sound fiscal policies. But it increasingly accepts the notion that countries need to maintain viable social safety nets to protect the most vulnerable. And it has dropped its emphasis on “structural” performance criteria — privatization, banking regulation, trade policy — that were seen as doctrinaire and unrelated to the problem at hand.

Nessun commento: