Nobel laureate warns of FDP chief as finance minister

Nobel laureate warns of FDP chief as finance minister
Nobel laureate warns of FDP chief as finance minister

Like no other party, the FDP stands for budget discipline and a “lean state”. The economic experts Adam Tooze and Joseph Stiglitz consider these ideas to be long out of date.

Two prominent economic experts have warned that FDP leader Christian Lindner will become finance minister in a future federal government. “For his own sake, Lindner should be spared the impossible task of having to apply his antediluvian budgetary agenda to today’s financial situation,” write Briton Adam Tooze and US Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University in New York Guest contribution for “Die Zeit”. “Neither Germany nor Europe can afford this type of crash test.”

The FDP’s financial policy agenda, for which Lindner stands, is not just “an accumulation of conservative clichés,” write the professors. “Much more important is that these are clichés from a bygone era, namely those of the 1990s. We no longer live in the world that produced them.”

Experts criticize German financial policy

The background to this is a dispute over the direction of economic and financial policy, which flared up during the euro crisis in 2011. Many international experts consider the budget discipline advocated by German governments in recent years, which has also been demanded by other countries and there – for example in Greece – was accompanied by drastic austerity measures, to be wrong and outdated.

Instead, in times of high public investment needs, new debts are justifiable and even necessary. Although the FDP has not been part of the government since 2013, it is considered a particular advocate of a balanced budget.

Lindner had expressed interest in the post of finance minister during the election campaign. Tooze and Stiglitz are now recommending that the Liberals should rather take over a “super ministry for digital technology” in a new government with the SPD and the Greens. The Ministry of Finance, however, should occupy the Greens.


Nobel laureate warns FDP chief finance minister

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