CEPS Commentaries


181 - 210 of 398
21 October 2011

This paper proposes to tackle the sovereign debt and banking crises with a comprehensive multi-pillar mechanism that involves cash and synthetic solutions aimed at enhancing the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), but without necessitating any structural transformation. In this framework, the public and the private sectors would collaborate to design the necessary tools (a blend of cash and guarantees) that are capable of convincing the market.

19 October 2011

In this Commentary, Piotr Maciej Kaczyński looks at seemingly different recent political developments in Poland and Slovakia, but draws a common lesson: any new party entering the political scene needs some time to consolidate internally before it enters the government. Both the Slovak and the Czech governments have suffered recent instability due to their political backing by newly emerging actors. He warns that Poland should not make the same mistake.
Piotr Maciej Kaczyński is a Research Fellow at CEPS.
 

19 October 2011

This CEPS Commentary finds that banking supervisors and regulators attach too much importance to the current capital ratios, despite the multi-indicators approach encouraged by Basel III. Drawing on the recent experience of the Belgian-French bank Dexia, the author shows that reliance on this single capital indicator can be very costly.

13 October 2011

The European Union should move quickly to enact an American-style ‘TARP’ in the eurozone to strengthen the financial sector and maintain lending, argues CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo.

12 October 2011

In his latest Commentary, Daniel Gros allows that the eurozone might just be stepping back from the brink. He attributes this welcome development to the inclusion of a key component that has been missing so far in any proposed framework to resolve the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, namely a liquidity backstop for the eurozone’s fiscal authority.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
 

04 October 2011

In all likelihood, the European Commission’s proposed tax on financial services, the financial transaction tax (FTT), will raise sizeable tax revenues, which explains its political appeal in the current context. However, the tax fails to address the key factors that contributed to the global financial crisis. In the absence of global or even EU-wide cooperation, many of the transactions subject to a tax will relocate to non-cooperating countries, thereby reducing revenue prospects and the effectiveness of supervision.

03 October 2011

 In this CEPS Commentary, Michael Emerson argues that the case for Palestinian statehood is as strong as that of Israel, on the basis of the four criteria contained in the Montevideo Convention of 1932 on the rights and duties of states. In the wake of the US threat to veto any resolution before the US Security Council to grant statehood to Palestine, he observes that no other single move of US diplomacy could do more to wipe out President Obama’s diplomatic advances towards the Arab world or to reinvigorate Islamic fundamentalist tendencies in the Muslim world at large.

28 September 2011

In light of the continued difficulties experienced by the Greek government to implement the promises it gave to its creditors and convince its own population of the need for further rounds of tough reforms in combination with investors’ doubts that the country will ever be able to grow out of its public debt, this CEPS Commentary reiterates the authors’ earlier proposal to take advantage of the low prices of Greek debt to implement a market-based approach to debt reduction.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS. Thomas Mayer is Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank.

08 September 2011

With the completion of the latest rescue package for Greece – which relieved the country of short-term liquidity problems and eased the borrowing terms, but which made only a small dent in the overall debt burden – this Commentary explores the question whether Greece can now ’grow solvent’? The prognosis is not encouraging: given the country’s unfavourable demographic prospects and the small size of its tradable sector, Greece will face a huge task in growing out of its debt burden.

05 September 2011

Under extreme pressure from the financial markets and from Germany, member countries of the eurozone feel obliged to introduce balanced budget clauses into their constitutions. In this new Commentary, CEPS Senior Associate Research Fellow Paul De Grauwe explains why the balanced budget rule is a bad idea.
 

18 August 2011

Investors are anticipating the unravelling of the 21 July 2011 ‘solution’. In this new CEPS Commentary, CEPS Director Daniel Gros and Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank, Thomas Mayer argue that the EFSF cannot work as intended but if it were registered as a bank the generalised breakdown of confidence could be stopped while leaving the management of public debt under the supervision of the finance ministers.

11 August 2011

In his latest Commentary, Karel Lannoo expresses frustration over the inconsistency between the latest Eurobarometer survey indicating is a clear indication of public support for EU institutions to more aggressively take the lead in resolving the economic crisis and the timidity of those institutions, with the possible exception of the ECB, to do so.

08 August 2011

The first act of the eurozone debt drama was about whether any European Union member country could ever become insolvent. It ended when the highest EU authority, the European Council, officially recognised in late July that Greece does need a reduction in its debt obligations. But that acknowledgement of reality does not end the drama. The second act will be about restoring growth prospects for the EU periphery, which will pose an even more difficult challenge.

27 July 2011

In this CEPS Commentary, Michael Emerson surveys recent developments in the case against Julia Temoshenko in Ukraine and its implications for the country’s relations with the EU.

22 July 2011

In the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s European Council’s decision to effectively transform the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) into a European Monetary Fund, this CEPS Commentary explores whether the EFSF has enough resources to become a credible deterrent against a recurrence of the recent turbulences in the euro area sovereign debt markets. The authors argue that an increase in lending capacity of the EFSF, which has been agreed politically but has not yet been fully ratified, is urgently needed.

22 July 2011

In his evaluation of the results from the 2nd EU bank stress test published 15 July 2011, CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo finds clear improvement compared to the first test, thanks in part to the new institutional set-up. He notes, however, that much works remains to be done on the substantive side to further calibrate the results and extend it to a broader sample of the EU banking sector.

12 July 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Director compares the developments in Greece today with those that took place in Argentina in the decade leading up to its messy default in 2001-02, following its decision a decade earlier to peg its currency to the dollar. He sadly concludes that the Greek experience – so far, at least – looks like a replay of the Argentine drama.

01 July 2011

Since the onset of the debt crisis in late 2009, the comparisons between Greece and Argentina have multiplied, with an emphasis more on the similarities than the differences. This is not surprising given the stunning parallels. This Commentary draws a systematic comparison between the two countries over the decade before the crisis and the management of the crisis. Overall it suggests that there may be little left for Greece to do to avoid a repeat of the Argentine default, but on a larger scale.

01 July 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson finds that the huge political transition taking place in the Arab world approaches in importance that which erupted in Central and Eastern Europe two decades ago and comparable certainly in the power of cross-border revolutionary contagion. He offers a schema of regime types and conceivable regime dynamics that can be drawn up on the basis of what has already transpired in each of the countries affected, and what other regions of the world have experienced in their regimes’ transitions.

23 June 2011

Protests continue in Greece as its leaders debate the latest suggestions for dealing with its crippling debt. One proposal is for Greece to privatise several of its assets. This Commentary argues that privatisation is a mirage. If solvency is the problem, privatisation will only make matters worse, especially if it has to be done at distressed prices.
Daniel Gros is the Director of CEPS.
 

23 June 2011

Pointing out that disorderly default or further bailouts are not the only solution to the Greek debt crisis, Daniel Gros and Thomas Mayer argue in this CEPS commentary that a sounder and less messy approach would be to take advantage of the current low prices of Greek debt to go for a market-based debt reduction.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS. Thomas Mayer is Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank.
 

16 June 2011

At the inaugural meeting of the CEPS Task Force on Aligning the EU Budget to the Europe 2020 Competitiveness and Growth Objectives on May 17th, a consensus was reached that achieving the goals of Europe 2020 requires better targeting and concentration of EU spending programmes and an expansion of non-budgetary instruments. This Open Letter to EU leaders calls for serious reform of policies and a redistribution of funds towards areas of long-term sustainable growth and competitiveness.

08 June 2011

In this Commentary, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson critiques the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy recently published by the European Commission and the High Representative and arrives at the following main conclusions:
- The Arab spring has pushed the EU institutions into advocating a ‘more for more’ concept, confirming the view that the European Neighbourhood Policy has not been offering sufficient net benefits for its attempted conditionality to work.

27 May 2011

All of Russia is now absorbed in the burning question of who will stand for President in 2012. Kremlinologists at home and abroad are desperately trying to read the meaning of indirect remarks and hints from the President and Prime Minister. Michael Emerson writes in this Commentary that it would be condescending if not insulting for the Russian people for Medvedev and Putin to settle the matter in a private conversation, after which one of them announces that he will back the other. In his view, the ideal solution would surely be for both Medvedev and Putin to stand for President.

26 May 2011

At the G8 meeting in Deauville, May 26-27, the leaders of the world’s major economies are called upon in a new CEPS Commentary by Rym Ayadi to make a major commitment to support the Tunisian people’s quest for inclusive and sustainable economic and social development, following the Jasmine Revolution early this year.

13 May 2011

Proclaiming that Ireland is not Argentina, Daniel Gros shows in this Commentary how the Irish government can avoid the fate of Argentina, which defaulted in 2001, by mobilizing the significant private foreign assets held by the country’s institutions, primarily pensions and life insurance companies.
The author is the Director of CEPS.
 

12 May 2011

This Commentary argues that the current crisis in the eurozone periphery is really about foreign debt, not sovereign debt and that the single-minded concentration of the EU and the IMF on fiscal adjustment in the EU periphery is misguided. For Greece, fiscal adjustment is undeniably the key issue. For Portugal, however, the key problem is the private sector’s continuing external deficit. Ireland is different again, as it has very little foreign debt and will soon run a current-account surplus.

29 March 2011

After numerous delays, the European Commission’s second Raw Materials Communication has now been published. Initially foreseen for November 2010 under the guidance of Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Tajani, the document finally saw the light of day in February 2011, after having been more or less appropriated by the cabinet of President Barroso.

18 March 2011

The economic philosophy behind the Competitiveness Pact now before the European Council can be summarized by two hypotheses:
1. If we fix (relative?) wages, no external imbalances can arise since relative costs determine export performance.
2. Higher productivity always means more ‘competitiveness’, and is thus always useful to reduce divergences.
On first sight, this Commentary finds that both theses seem to make sense, but on closer inspection, neither corresponds to reality.

18 March 2011

Europe now must decide which countries and banks have access to funding, and at what cost. Drawing on the timeless wisdom of William Shakespeare, Daniel Gros warns that those countries now struggling under a mountain of debt should have realized earlier that excessive reliance on borrowing invites excessive consumption and wasteful investment. But the leaders of Germany and the other creditor countries should also be aware that a lender can lose both its capital and its friends.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.