Brad DeLong and Barry Eichengreen have a really nice piece on the lessons today’s policy makers might usefully draw from the work of the great Charles Kindleberger.
It prompted the following two thoughts on my part, neither of which is perhaps relevant to Kindleberger.
The first is that the extremes are gaining in Europe because centrist parties are offering voters no meaningful choices. Pasok and ND are an egregious example, but the same is true in all the other programme countries, and to a lesser extent in other countries as well. So if you want to vote against the status quo policies, you have no alternative but to vote for Syriza, or whomever.
Second, right now in Europe, support for international institutions means, de facto, support for the current policy mix, just as being an internationalist in the interwar period, in too many cases, meant support for gold. And this is killing support for the very international institutions that, as Brad and Barry say, are in principle a solution to the crisis.
Update: Brad has a great response to this post here
. Read it.