by Wolfgang Schäuble
New York Times
April 15, 2015
The annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin on Friday in Washington. I’m looking forward to them, even if the discussion in recent years has seemed, to some commentators, a bit too well-rehearsed to provoke much discussion or thought outside of the usual comfort zones.
The fact that the immediate sting of the global financial crisis has faded in much of the world has probably contributed to this complacency. Unfortunately, however, the world economy is not yet out of the woods. It still faces very concrete challenges. We are as badly as ever in need of a common understanding of what needs to be done.
The financial crisis broke out seven years ago and led many countries into an economic and debt crisis. A pervasive set of myths — that the European response to the crisis has been ineffective at best, or even counterproductive — is simply not accurate. There is strong evidence that Europe is indeed on the right track in addressing the impact, and, most importantly, the causes of the crisis. Let me run through some of these myths.