Economic Policy


91 - 120 of 620
23 November 2012

It is plainly apparent that now is the time to make adjustments to the severe macroeconomic imbalances created by the sudden stop in capital flows to the countries in the southern periphery of the eurozone. But crucial questions arise about how to correct the imbalances, how to share the burden of the adjustment and what is the role of the European institutions, foremost the European Central Bank (ECB), in this process.

15 November 2012

This CEPS Commentary argues that the way in which the burden of adjustment to the imbalances in the eurozone is borne almost exclusively by the deficit countries in the periphery produces a deflationary bias in the region as a whole. Against the threat of double-dip recession, Paul De Grauwe asserts that the adjustment could be done differently and calls for implementation of a more symmetric macroeconomic policy that reduces the deflationary bias.

Paul De Grauwe is Professor at the London School of Economics and Associate Senior Fellow, CEPS.

06 November 2012

This Commentary attempts to discern the distinguishing features between the present euro crisis and the financial crisis brought on in the US by the subprime lending disaster and the ensuing collapse of banks and other financial institutions in 2007-08.

18 October 2012

This CEPS Special Report analyses the proposed expansion of innovative financial instruments in the EU Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2014–20 period. It presents the economic rationale, governance principles and criteria that these instruments should follow and compares these with proposals from the European Commission. Based on this assessment, it makes recommendations for the proposed instruments.

18 October 2012

Despite their surprising similarities – in size and their housing booms – Ireland and the American state of Nevada sharply parted company  when it came to who bore responsibility for bailing out their failed banks when the booms turned to bust. This latest Commentary by Daniel Gros vividly illustrates the importance of that difference and thus the shock-absorbing capacity of an integrated banking system and a banking union.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

15 October 2012

Against the background of the IMF’s latest global economic forecast, Jørgen Mortensen and Cinzia Alcidi raise questions in a new CEPS Commentary about the timing of the implementation and the effects of the three main categories of economic policy – fiscal, monetary and structural.

Jørgen Mortensen is Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and Cinzia Alcidi is LUISS Research Fellow at CEPS

05 October 2012

Underlining the fact that shale gas, like all natural resources, can only be used once, Daniel Gros observes in this CEPS Commentary that the real issue is not whether this resource should be developed in Europe, but when it should be used: today or tomorrow? Europe is already a heavy user of gas, but its consumption is stagnating (along with its economy). Despite the hype about the shale gas revolution, the extraction cost of (onshore) conventional gas remains below that of fracking.

05 October 2012

Citing evidence from around the world, including the recent Turkish-Greek reconciliation, Adam Balcer suggests in this CEPS Commentary that establishment of economic cooperation between the business communities of Cyprus and Turkey can facilitate a political rapprochement or at least can prevent a rise in tensions.

Adam Balcer is Programme Director at demosEUROPA Centre for European Strategy in Warsaw.

26 September 2012

CEPS has inaugurated a new publication series of Essays with this highly thoughtful contribution by Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, which draws critical lessons from the disintegration of the Soviet Union for European political leaders struggling with the current crisis.

26 September 2012

The objective of this paper is two-fold. First, it aims to assess recent trends in women’s employment and labour market participation with a focus on the changes in the ‘type’ of occupation (temporary vs. regular and part-time vs. full-time) women are involved in. Secondly, it examines the role played by the interplay of macro-institutional factors and policies and individual characteristics in explaining the observed trends and cross-country differences by means of a multi-level approach.

18 September 2012

The European Commission has published its proposals for the transfer of supervisory responsibilities to the European Central Bank, under Article 127(6) of the TFEU, providing a comprehensive and courageous ‘first step’ towards a European banking union, the other steps being European deposit insurance and resolution procedures.

12 September 2012

This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone.

11 September 2012

Cross-border firms supply goods and services throughout Europe and cross-border banks facilitate the cross-border traffic by persons and firms. European banks are thus an integral part of the internal market. Yet cross-border banking is not stable in the current institutional setting as national authorities focus on preserving the national parts of a cross-border bank and the integrated value of a bank is neglected. European banks therefore need a European safety net, which is a precondition for putting the supervisory framework on a European footing.

06 September 2012

The misguided belief that “this time is different” led policy-makers to permit the credit boom of the early 2000s to continue for too long, thus preparing the ground for the biggest financial crisis in living memory. But when it comes to the recovery this around, CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues in this Commentary that the belief that this time should not be different might be equally dangerous.

Mobile format

06 September 2012

Arguing that the planned move to put the ECB in charge of banking supervision would be incomplete without a European Deposit Insurance and Resolution Authority (EDIRA), Daniel Gros and Dirk Schoenmaker spell out in a new CEPS Commentary some underlying principles to guide a gradual transition under which only future risks would be shared while past losses would remain at the national level. They show that ultimately such a new institution would serve as a genuine source of confidence in the European banking system.

04 September 2012

Launched in March 2010 by the European Commission, the Europe 2020 strategy aims at achieving “smart, sustainable and inclusive” growth. This growth is intended to be driven by three sets of engines: knowledge and innovation, a greener and more efficient use of resources and higher employment combined with social and territorial cohesion.

04 September 2012

The euro crisis has forced member states and the EU institutions to create a series of new instruments to safeguard macro-financial stability of the Union. This study describes the status of existing instruments, the role of the European Parliament and how the use of the instruments impinges on the EU budget also through their effects on national budgets. In addition, it presents a survey of other possible instruments that have been proposed in recent years (e.g.

30 August 2012

The proposal to move to a full banking union in the eurozone means a radical regime shift for the EU, since the European Central Bank will supervise the eurozone banks and effectively end ‘home country rule’. But how this is implemented raises a number of questions and needs close monitoring, explains CEPS CEO Karel Lannoo in this new Commentary.

Mobi format

28 August 2012

As an alternative to the present system of intermediation of the German savings surplus, this paper suggests that the risk-adjusted rate of return could be improved by creating a sovereign wealth fund for Germany (designated DESWF), which could invest excess German savings globally. Such a DESWF would offer German savers a secure vehicle paying a guaranteed positive minimum real interest rate, with a top-up when real investment returns allowed. The vehicle would invest the funds in a portfolio that is highly diversified by geography and asset classes.

01 August 2012

At the end of the 1980s, a tri-polar world comprising the US, EU and Japan emerged. However, the economic turbulence of the early 21st century has destabilized this order, and the rise of other Asian powers has implications for the formation of a new economic configuration.

This book discusses the probability of the different tentative global economic power balances to emerge, as well as the different contestants: the EU, China and Japan, among others.

27 July 2012

The sentiment that the euro is now in real danger is based in large part on the widespread conviction that interest rates of 6-7% are simply unsustainable for both Italy and Spain., After taking a closer look at the fundamentals, however, Daniel Gros concludes in this new Policy Brief that both countries should be able to live with this level of interest rates for quite some time, but only if they mobilize domestic savings, which remain strong in both countries. For Spain, some debt/equity swaps are also needed.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

27 July 2012

In response to the often-heard accusation that “austerity is killing growth in Europe”, Daniel Gros asks in this new Commentary: “What austerity?” Looking at the entire budget cycle, he finds that the picture of austerity killing growth simply does not hold up.

16 July 2012

This paper reviews the causes of the ongoing crisis in the eurozone and the policies needed to restore stability in financial markets and reassure a bewildered public. Its main message is that the EU will not overcome the crisis until it has a comprehensive and convincing set of policies in place; able to address simultaneously budgetary discipline and the sovereign debt crisis, the banking crisis, adequate liquidity provision by the ECB and dismal growth.

16 July 2012

This Working Document by Daniel Gros presents a simple model that incorporates two types of sovereign default cost: first, a lump-sum cost due to the fact that the country does not service its debt fully and is recognised as being in default status, by ratings agencies, for example. Second, a cost that increases with the size of the losses (or haircut) imposed on creditors whose resistance to a haircut increases with the proportional loss inflicted upon them.

11 July 2012

Different economic and financial structures require different crisis responses. Different crises also require different tools and resources. The first ‘stage’ of the financial crisis (2007-09) was similar on both sides of the Atlantic, and the response was also quite similar. The second stage of the crisis is unique to the euro area. Increasing financial disintegration within the region has forced the ECB to become the central counterparty for the entire cross-border banking market and to intervene in the sovereign bond market of some stressed countries.

05 July 2012

In this Commentary, Daniel Gros applauds the decision taken by Europe’s leaders at the eurozone summit at the end of June to transfer responsibility for banking supervision in the eurozone to the European Central Bank. It represents explicit recognition of the important fact that problems might originate at the national level, but, owing to monetary union, they can quickly threaten the stability of the entire eurozone banking system.

27 June 2012

Spain, needing a bailout for its banks, was granted a vague promise by EZ leaders for up to €100 billion. The details remain obscure, yet they matter enormously. This column argues that the so-called ‘subordination effect’ of fresh official lending could put Spain on the slippery road to ruin. It argues that if sovereign bonds must be bought, this should be done in the secondary market which, would be on an equal footing with private investors and thus avoid the subordination trap.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

22 June 2012

This paper tests the hypothesis that government bond markets in the eurozone are more fragile and more susceptible to self-fulfilling liquidity crises than in stand-alone countries. We find evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was the result of negative self-fulfilling market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010.

20 June 2012

In the run-up to the emergency European Council meeting at the end of June, Stefano Micossi outlines in this Policy Brief the main elements of a realistic and yet incisive policy package, capable of reassuring financial markets and a bewildered public opinion. It is more than Germany has been willing to accept so far but much less than many of the demands it will confront at the Council meeting. More importantly, it only requires a minimum of additional disbursements by the member states, while strengthening risk-sharing for sovereign and banking risks.

07 June 2012

The diabolical loop between the solvency of the banking system and the sovereign fiscal position is now apparent. In Greece it is the insolvency of the government that has sunk the banks, whereas in Spain the banks are sinking the government. What is common in both countries is that when savers see the banks and the sovereign propping each other up, they run away.  Unless the banks in both Greece and Spain are soon recapitalised, the ongoing gradual deposit flight might turn quickly into a classic run with incalculable consequences.