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geregetan: euro & amrik, emang benci n rindu … 150510

May 14, 2010

Krisis Utang Eropa Bisa Ancam Ekonomi AS
Jum’at, 14 Mei 2010 – 09:27 wib

WASHINGTON – Ancaman penyebaran krisis utang Eropa memaksa Amerika Serikat (AS) bertindak. Paman Sam bisa terseret krisis jika gagal memaksa pemimpin Eropa mengatasi lonjakan defisit anggaran mereka.

Presiden AS Barack Obama telah memaksa Yunani dan Spanyol mengambil keputusan sulit, yaitu reformasi besar-besaran sehingga bisa memulihkan keyakinan pasar. Obama dan penasihatnya juga mendesak pemimpin-pemimpin Eropa mengambil tindakan tegas untuk menenangkan pasar.

Meski begitu, Washington sebenarnya memiliki masalah anggaran belanja seperti negara-negara di Zona Euro. Resesi telah menjerat AS dengan defisit USD1,4 triliun atau 10 persen dari produk domestik bruto (PDB).

Tekanan keuangan akan tumbuh seiring menuanya populasi di AS. Belanja pemerintah di sektor kesehatan dan tunjangan pensiun akan terus naik. Tapi, investor mulai menilai utang AS mulai tidak berkelanjutan. Dapat disimpulkan, AS akan menghadapi masalah seperti yang dialami Yunani, Spanyol, dan negara-negara di Zona Euro.

Kita tahun bahwa kita memiliki masalah keuangan yang besar. Saya menila kewaspadaan atas keterpurukan ekonomi mulai tumbuh. Tahun ini, saya belum melihat keinginan mengatasi masalah ini, kata ekonom AS Douglas Holtz-Eakin seperti dikutip Reuters Jumat (14/5/2010).

Gedung Putih sendiri sudah mewaspadai risiko ini. Kepala Anggaran Belanja Gedung Putih Peter Orszag menjelaskan, masalah di Eropa menunjukkan AS harus segera bertindak mengatasi masalah anggaran belanja. Penundaan penyelesaian akan berakibat buruk. “Kita harus memastikan bahwa kita tidak akan berakhir seperti apa yang saat ini dihadapi Yunani,” ungkap dia.

Sementara, polarisasi politik mempersulit Pemerintahan Obama mendapat konsensus dari Kongres AS untuk mendapatkan rencana aksi pengendalian defisit. Itulah sebabnya Partai Demokrat membangun komisi bipartisan untuk mencari solusi atas ancaman defisit.

Skenario terburuk menunjukkan, ada potensi biaya pinjaman AS melonjak. Melalui skenario ini, Pemerintah AS harus memotong anggaran belanja ketika ekonomi melemah. Saat ini, pengalihan dana investasi dari surat utang Eropa ke obligasi jangka pendek Pemerintah AS menguntungkan Paman Sam. Sebab, AS bisa menekan imbal hasil dari obligasi yang dikeluarkannya.

Tapi, mood pasar keuangan bisa berubah secara mendadak. Jika ini terjadi, imbal hasil obligasi AS akan melonjak. Kepala Ekonom Decision Economics Inc Allen Sinai memaparkan, AS bisa menghadapi masalah utang dari dana stimulus yang dikeluarkan saat melawan resesi.

Menurut Sinai, angka pengangguran AS yang mendekati 10 persen dan lonjakan utang pemerintah sebagai ancaman. Ini Masalah ini akan membatasi opsi yang bisa ditempuh oleh pengambil kebijakan untuk mengatasi masalah.

Kebijakan fiskal AS akan terganggu oleh masalah utang, defisit anggaran belanja yang besar dan utang publik terhadap PDB akan memicu krisis utang, jelas Sinai.

Ketika ancaman jangka panjang meningkat, beberapa analis ada perbedaan antara masalah Yunani dan yang dihadapi Washington. Jomes Horney, direktur kebijakan fiskal Kantor Prioritas Anggaran Belanja dan Kebijakan (CBPP) menilai pengambil kebijakan harus fokus pada menghidupkan kembali aktivitas ekonomi.

Implementasi pemotongan anggaran belanja besar-besaran pada beberapa tahun kedepan adalah tidak bijaksana karena akan melemahkan upaya menghidupkan kembali aktivitas ekonomi, kata dia. (ahmad senoadi/koran SI/adn)
MAY 15, 2010
Confidence Wanes in Bailout, Austerity
Falling Prices in Spain and Rising Investor Misgivings Over Rescue Fund and Spending Cuts Take a Toll on the Euro

FRANKFURT—The euro fell to an 18-month low as investors questioned Europe’s prospects for a sustained economic recovery, despite a nearly $1 trillion rescue plan and tough austerity programs in Spain and elsewhere along the Continent’s debt-laden southern fringe.

Particularly worrying to many investors was news that in April Spain recorded falling prices, excluding food and energy, for the first time on record. If that deflationary trend continues, Spain, the euro-zone’s fourth-largest economy with a debt load larger than Greece’s, could find it even more difficult to pay back creditors.

Prices—excluding food and energy—are already falling in Portugal and Ireland. That isn’t a risk if the deflation lasts only a few months, economists say. But if consumers expect price drops to persist and delay spending in the hope of getting better deals, deflation could become an economic threat, robbing governments of badly needed sales tax receipts and other revenue.

That, in turn, could force governments to undertake even more spending cuts, a step that could spark social unrest and political turmoil.

Early this week, investors cheered the European Union’s announcement that it was prepared to stand behind vulnerable euro-zone economies together with the International Monetary Fund with aid of as much as €750 billion ($955 billion).

Since then, however, the market’s focus has shifted to the question of how Europe’s troubled economies can grow while also bearing the burden of harsh austerity. Another worry is how paying out the financial aid would affect the region’s healthy economies, such as Germany and France.

“Even if we do see things go well … it’s still going to be bearish for the euro,” says Brian Kim, a currency analyst at UBS.

Euro-zone countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland have pledged to cut state spending and raise taxes over the next several years in a bid to bring their ballooning deficits under control. Yet the planned austerity “reduces the potential for economic growth going forward,” says Lawrence Eagles, an oil analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase. That will make paring government debt a more serious challenge, especially if inflation , as many economists forecast, remains tame.

Euro-zone economic growth has been driven by countries such as Spain and Ireland for many years. For example, domestic demand in those two grew at more than double the rate for the currency bloc as a whole in the years before the recession began in 2008.

During Friday’s trading session, the euro dropped below $1.24, its lowest level since October 2008. European markets plunged on worries about debt and the economy, with Germany’s DAX off more than 3%, Spanish shares down over 6%, and France’s CAC-40 down 4.6%. Bank shares were especially hard hit, given their exposure to sovereign debt.

Bond yields in Greece, Spain and Portugal rose, but remain well below one week ago, a sign that the European Central Bank’s efforts to prop up debt markets in those countries by buying bonds is having an effect.

As the periphery countries struggle, the entire euro-zone economy has barely recovered from one of the deepest recessions in decades. Last quarter, gross domestic product grew just 0.8%, at an annualized rate, a fraction of the rates seen in the U.S. and many developing countries, particularly in Asia.

Economists are especially worried about Spain, which announced more spending cuts and tax increases on Thursday. Its economy barely expanded last quarter—after declining for six consecutive periods. The unemployment rate is nearly 20%, twice the euro-zone average, raising doubts about how much more economic pain the public can withstand.

Financial markets “will shift away from near-term liquidity issues” and focus on the “resulting economic effects of the fiscal austerity measures,” economists at Barclays Capital wrote in a note to clients.

Unlike Germany, which improved the productivity and competitiveness of its industry in the past decade, Europe’s periphery is unlikely to benefit much from the slide in the euro. During the early years of the euro, growth in these countries was tied to housing bubbles and debt-fueled consumption, not exports.

In Germany, the tumbling euro cuts two ways. For Marcus Vatter, chief financial officer at SICK AG, a sensor-technology firm in Dusseldorf, it “is playing a very positive role,” especially when fighting for business with Asian and U.S. competitors.

But the political crisis at the root of the euro’s slide, and its potential inflationary effects, are negatives for Germany’s frugal consumers. “There’s a lot of confusion. It’s a bad atmosphere, bad for consumption,” says Thomas Kemmerich, who owns a chain of hair salons with 50 locations, mostly in eastern Germany.

Germany and others such as France and the Netherlands—whose finances are in much better shape than Greece—also face financial risks. They have already taken on some of Greece’s credit risk by committing loans under the EU-IMF plan. If other countries such as Spain have to tap the €750 billion stability fund, healthier countries would face even more pressure on their own interest rates.

—Liam Pleven contributed to this article.


From → GREAT depression

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