Robert Mundell, nóbelsveršlaunahafi ķ hagfręši, oft kallašur fašir Evrunnar - rįšleggur Ķslendingum aš tengja gengi krónunnar viš gengi bandar. dollars!

Ég reikna meš aš rįšleggingar Robert Mundell komi įhugamönnum um Evru nokkuš į óvart. En, hann er žekktur fyrir hugmyndir og rįšleggingar, og höfšu žęr mikil įhrif žegar žeirri humynd skaut rótum aš mynda samevrópskt gjaldmišilssvęši.

En hann telur alveg aš Ķsland og ķslendingar geti haldiš įfram aš hafa eigin gjaldmišil.

Hann rįšleggur žó aš tengja žann gjaldmišil viš stęrra gjaldmišilssvęši - telur fljótandi gegni į svo smįum gjaldmišli ekki geta stašist.

Žaš įhugaverša, er aš hann telur ekki mikilvęgt atriši ķ vali į svęši, hvort svęšiš viš höfum meiri višskipti viš.

Hann rįšleggur tengingu viš dollar ž.e. gera krónuna hluta af dollarasvęšinu, fremur en Evrusvęšinu.

Sķšan telur hann galla fyrir Evrusvęšiš - sem dragi śr skilvirkni žess - aš žaš hafi ekki eina sameiginlegan fjįrmįlamišstöš - en ašalfjįrmįlamišstöš Evrópu sé ķ London utan viš Evrusvęšiš, en Dollarasvęšiš hafi megin fjįrmįlamišstöš ķ New York.

Segir žaš fela ķ sér smęrri skuldbindingar fyrir Ķslendinga og žvķ geri ég rįš fyrir aš hann meini, aušveldari um leiš kostnašarminni ašgerš.

En, fyrir utan žessi atriši, sé vališ fyrst og fremst aš hans mati spurning um pólitķk.

 

-------------------------Vištal viš Robert Mundell tekiš af Jóni Helga Egilssyni

JHE: Let’s go back to Iceland. From 2004-2008 the local currency appreciated due to carry trade, fueled by the central bank’s inflation targeting policy. The local currency got too strong, purchasing power increased and it built incentive to borrow in foreign currencies, since debt in foreign currency was lowered measured by the local currency. The banking system collapsed in 2008, and carry traders wanted out, but had to be locked in with capital controls. Debt, measured by the local currency, skyrocketed causing bankruptcies and related problems. So, given this recent history, what is your advice to Iceland and its 300 thousand inhabitants?

RM: I think that Iceland should fix its currency to one of the two big currency areas, the dollar area or the euro area. I think Iceland has no business having a floating exchange rate, a country that small. Well, you can a have your currency, but that should be rigidly fixed to one of the two big currency areas. Like Hong Kong is fixed to the dollar or African countries are fixed to the euro.

JHE: So, Iceland should fix its currency since it is too small to have a floating currency?

RM: Well you have Bill Gates and with his wealth he could buy up money supply of hundred countries like Iceland. You have no possibility of having a free market exchange rate that isn’t going to be dominated by big corporations or hedge funds. No possibility. Then you end up with a tremendous pressure on the central bank, or whoever is managing it, to keep sure of all the politics and corruption that go with these weird movements.

JHE: So, if I understand you correctly you are saying that countries that have small economies are so fragile that a limited number of companies or even one company can manipulate the exchange rate. Therefore they should give up the hope of having a floating currency?

RM: It’s like the The Isle of Tonga in the Pacific or one of these currencies. The idea that they have separate currencies ... well historically small countries in the past have always fixed themselves usually to some big empire like the French or the British Empire.

You can keep the currency, but fix it to another area. Then don‘t have any monetary policy. Let that be your monetary policy, like Hong Kong. Population of Hong Kong is 25 times Iceland. Iceland is a very rich country, very lucky country because it got all that wonderful water around it and those geysers and fishing rights all those things inside and outside of Iceland. A great country and you want to keep it, but you want to minimize the risk. The big question when I say you should fix it to one of the two currency areas, is which one? I think if you fix it to the euro area there are some emotional reasons for doing that. But from the standpoint of culture, stand point of language, and the stand point of capital market integration you are in a way closer and better off with the US dollar.

JHE: What about the fact that we trade more with the euro area?

RM: It doesn’t matter. It is like Britain is half a dollar country and half a euro country. It is true that there is a problem for Iceland. If the dollar or euro exchange rate would be fixed there wouldn‘t be any problem … there wouldn‘t be any problem at all. But because it is not fixed then whenever there is a big fluctuation then there is a problem for Iceland, the way there is a problem for Britain. But I think you end up getting more out of it. You see in New York, the US has a capital market, but the euro area doesn’t have a capital market. It is in London. It is outside the euro zone. Maybe if Britain joined the euro zone, the argument for joining the euro zone would be higher, much higher.

But the thing is if you join the euro zone you are making a deeper political commitment than you have to if you joined the dollar area. I was asked this question earlier by your government, about which area Iceland should fix to, and I said that basically I didn’t want to make a recommendation on it because so much of it is a political decision rather than economical. There are some advantages to the dollar area because New York is very well defined and clearly you have got the capital market there, you have got all those things there.

JHE: Back to the question of labor mobility, how would that affect this choice?

RM: What would the people of Iceland prefer? Would they prefer to have labor mobility with the US or with Europe?

JHE: Would you let that decide?

RM: I was asking you a question. I would like to hear your answer?

JHE: In some ways Icelandic working culture is more like the US than European. Research has shown that Iceland is closer to the US for example in terms of job participation in certain age groups, working hours pr. week, attitudes towards women participating in the labor market, importance of a job, trust and so forth. But the main pro-euro argument is that approximately 60% of our trade is with Europe and we are a part of the EEA.

RM: Well, I could also ask you what Icelanders prefer. Do they prefer watching French or German or American movies and television?

JHE: What? (laugh) Would you let that decide?

RM: I am not anti-American, I am Canadian ... but I think ... and I live in Europe as well as here ... I have lived for some time in Europe so I am pro-European as I am pro-American.

-------------------------

 

Varšandi rįšleggingar Mundell

Ég ętla alls ekkert aš vķsa žeim śt ķ hafsauga. Mér finnst žaš mjög vel koma til greina eins og hann leggur til, aš tengja krónuna viš Dollar. 

Röksemd fyrir žvķ aš tengja fremur viš Evru, snżr aš gengisóvissu sem veldur alltaf einhverjum kostnaši. Į hinn bóginn, er gengisóvissa milli Dollars og Evru mun lęgri, en į milli Evru og Krónu eša Dollars og Evru.

Žannig, aš žaš mį vel vera rétt hjį Mundell, aš meš tengingu viš Dollar verši gengiskostnašur óveruleg stęrš hvort eš er, og žvķ ekki atriši sem ętti aš skipta verulegu mįli ķ vali į žvķ, viš hvorn gjaldmišilinn ętti aš tengja krónuna.

Varšandi punktinn um einn sameiginlegann fjįrmįlamarkaš ž.e. fjįrmįlamišstöš, žį skilst mér aš hagfręšingar séu hrifnir af slķku, žvķ žęr auki skilvirkni ķ veršmyndun sem vķsar til žess, aš verš séu oftar rétt - veršlag verši gegnsęrra og nęmara fyrir sveiflum frį umhverfinu. Rétt veršmyndun er talin vera mikilvęg upplżsingagjöf til allra ašila starfandi į markašinum, žannig aš ašilum sem ekki séu aš standa sig sé refsaš um leiš og öšrum umbunaš einnig um leiš.

Punkturinn um aš lķtil mynnt standist ekki ķ hafróti risamynta hefur veriš margtugginn einkum af ESB sinnum, sem vilja aš viš göngum ķ ESB og tökum upp Evru meš tķš og tķma.

Žess vegna, kemur ž. aš vissu marki sem ferskur vindur inn ķ umręšuna, žegar Mundell segir žaš sama en į sama tķma, rįšleggur tengingu viš Dollar ķ stašinn. 

 

Varšandi tengingu viš ašra mynnt:

Ešlilega hefur slķk tenging takmarkašann trśveršugleika - ž.s. engin žjóš heldur slķkri tengingu ķ raušann daušann, ef efnahagslķfiš er aš hrynja, og ępir į gengisfellingu.

  • En, - takmarkaš - žarf ekki aš žķša, lķtinn trśveršugleika.
  • Hugsa ber trśveršugleikann, sem lķnu yfir frį mjög litlum yfir ķ mjög mikinn.

Žaš sannarlega hefur komiš fyrir öšru hvoru ķ gegnum įrin, aš žjóšir hafa neyšst til aš falla frį fastgengisstefnu og fella gengiš - sbr. upphaflegu fullyršingu aš engin žjóš ver žetta fram ķ raušann daušann.

  • Styrkur trśveršugleikans - fer algerlega eftir gęšum žeirrar hagstjórnar, er stendur į bakviš.

ESB sinnar aš sjįlfsögšu benda į aš einungis upptaka Evru hafi į endanum trśveršugleika.

En į hinn bóginn - mį benda į móti į, aš svo sannarlega hafa atburšir undanfarinna 2ja įra sannaš, aš Evruašild er engin endanleg trygging fyrir žvķ, aš klśšra ekki eigin hagstjórn.

Kosturinn viš fastgengisstefnu, er einmitt sį aš ķ algerri neyš - ef allt um žrķtur, er hęgt aš hverfa frį henni tķmabundiš.

Žś hverfur ekki svo glatt frį Evruašild ž.e. - flest bendir til, aš kostnašur viš slķkt sé grķšarlegur.

Aš sjįlfsögšu er žaš einmitt įstęša žess, aš fastgengis stefna hefur takmarkašann trśveršugleika - žó hęgt sé meš elju og vinnu, aš nį honum vel upp.

En į hinn bóginn, eins og gengisfall Evrunnar gangvart Dollar um rśm 20% į žessu įri sżnir, žį kemur žaš einfaldlega nišur į hinu sameiginlega gjaldmišilssvęši ķ stašinn, ef einstök rķki komast upp meš slęma syši. Sķšan, geta žau rķki er komu sér ķ vandręši, einungis ašlagaš sig į löngum tķma - ž.e. meš veršhjöšnun sbr. Ķrland ž.s. AGS reiknaš meš aš hśn standi yfir um 4 įr. Allan žann tķma er hśn stendur yfir, er veršhjöšnunin aš skaša žeirra hagvaxtargetu og skaša atvinnustig.

Žannig, eins og ég sé žaš, žį er įhęttan viš tengingu og fastgengisstefnu smęrri - žegar allt er skošaš.

 

Kv.


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Einar Björn Bjarnason

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Einar Björn Bjarnason
Einar Björn Bjarnason
Stjórnmála- og Evrópufræðingur. Áhugi á stjórnmálum, Evrópumálum, alþjóðamálum, málefnum Miðausturlanda, trúmálum, vísindum og tækni, og margt fleira.
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