In a dead heat and with three days to go before the Scottish referendum on independence, most media and economist arguments – beyond those regarding emotional debates of identity, heritage and autonomy – are increasingly fear-driven.
For those advocating Scotland embrace its status quo, the panic-inducing exchange goes like this: if Scotland votes for independence, it will become a debt-saddled wannabe player with no control over its currency or means to raise extra funds during financial crises, the EU will close its doors and NATO will balk at membership unless Scotland continues to house nuclear arms within its borders.
Ironically, having received a 46 billion pound bailout from the UK government, RBS has now threated to move its registered headquarters to the UK for fear of higher taxes, greater regulations, or lack of future bailouts, in the event that Scotland votes for independence. This, to me, is a point in favor of independence. Iceland did well deploying its independent status to divert monies to benefit its citizens rather than foreign banks.
If an independent Scotland does embrace strategies for broad-based economic stability and reduced income inequality, it could become a stronger country. This would be a positive outcome, even considering the limitations of currency-setting control that Krugman mentions. Protection from the most risky capital flows and practices is a cheaper crisis preventative measure in today’s complex, private-bank driven global financial system, than the ability of a central bank to manipulate currency levels anyway