Economic Policy

121 - 150 of 631
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.

04 June 2012

At this point in the crisis, Daniel Gros writes that the common currency can only be saved if the governments of the troubled economies take determined action, supported by their citizens, to show that they attach overriding priority to their membership in the eurozone, even under difficult circumstances, and that they thus merit unreserved support from the rest of the member countries.

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies

01 June 2012

If Greece leaves the eurozone, many expect that it that will be forced to default. This commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that need not be the case.

01 June 2012

Commissioned by the European Parliament, this study outlines concrete options for improving the external representation of the euro area in international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the G-20. The study proposes a two-stage process, the first of which requires the creation of a permanent subcommittee of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) to elaborate common positions at international level.

31 May 2012

This commentary observes that fear and panic are now the driving forces in the eurozone, splitting the area into two: pushing some into bad equilibria characterised by austerity and recession, and others into good equilibria allowing their governments to borrow at almost no cost. The responses adopted so far by the ECB and the European Commission reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the crisis and fail to assuage the existential fears undermining confidence in the eurozone. The author outlines three essential steps to be taken to unify the eurozone.

23 May 2012

The eurozone countries are currently sitting on an aggregate exposure to Greece exceeding €300 billion. If the country were to exit the eurozone, it would certainly not be able to service its debt in the short run when the exchange rate overshoots.

22 May 2012

As unemployment climbs to new heights, Europe’s policy-makers are desperately casting about for the few instruments with which the EU can claim to foster growth. After a thorough examination of the facts on the ground, however, this paper finds that the North and the South of the euro area are diverging so much that they need very different policy prescriptions. Moreover, it points out that the two instruments that the EU has at its disposal to address structural problems in the South (the EIB and the Structural Funds) are unlikely to be effective this time.

15 May 2012

To ward off the threat of a worldwide depression that loomed at the end of the 2000s, governments opted to run up substantial fiscal deficits. In doing so, they sowed the seeds of the sovereign debt crisis. Saddled with often high debt burdens and modest growth prospects, developed countries’ governments must now rebalance their budgets. Doing so too rapidly, however, will choke growth. Faced with this dilemma, Japan and the United States have pursued growth policies while the euro area members are quickly trying to rebalance their budgets.

14 May 2012

This CEPS Policy Brief looks at the ways in which the euro crisis has impacted the successful functioning of the internal market of the EU and the state of play with respect to the creation of a common consolidated corporate tax base in corporate taxation.

H. Onno Ruding, is Chairman of the CEPS Board of Directors, former Minister of Finance of The Netherlands and Member of the Board of IBFD (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation) in Amsterdam.

10 May 2012

The eurozone is caught in a ‘diabolical loop’ in which weak domestic banking systems damage sovereign fiscal positions and conversely, in which risky sovereign positions disproportionately threaten domestic banking stability. A European-level banking system could go a long way towards breaking this unfortunate loop and stabilising the eurozone. This would require a European safety net for cross-border banks.

07 May 2012

The urge to be seen to be ‘doing something’ is leading Europe’s policy-makers to rely on the few instruments with which the EU can claim to foster growth. But, as Daniel Gros points out in this Commentary, they should recognise that today’s growth crisis is quite different than it has been in the past.

07 May 2012

The analysis in this Commentary provides strong evidence showing that the burden of the adjustments to the imbalances in the eurozone between the surplus and the deficit countries is borne almost exclusively by the deficit countries in the periphery.

27 April 2012

With this new CEPS commentary, CEPS Associate Fellow Jorge Núñez Ferrer weighs in this week's debate on the 2013 EU budget, concluding that the discussion was unhelpful and mainly an exercise in political posturing and misinformation on the part of the member states.

25 April 2012

Lax financial conditions can foster credit booms. The global credit boom of the last decade led to large capital flows across the world, including large movements of resources from the Northern countries of the euro area towards the Southern part. Since the start of the crisis and more markedly after 2009, these flows have suddenly stopped, creating severe adjustment pressures. This paper argues that, at this point, the common monetary policy can only try to mitigate the unavoidable adjustment by maintaining overall financial stability.

24 April 2012

This paper investigates the evolution and determinants of manufactured exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in 11 southern Mediterranean countries over the period 1985–2009 as well as their prospects under different scenarios pertaining to the development of the determinants. The econometric analysis confirms the role of exchange rate depreciation, the openness of the economy and the quality of institutions and infrastructure in fostering manufactured exports and FDI inflows in the region.

19 April 2012

Spain faces high unemployment and slow growth. This paper focuses on an important source of those problems, namely its housing market. While some adjustment has occurred since Spain's housing bubble burst in 2008, the authors find that house prices and construction need to decrease more to slow Spain's unsustainable accumulation of foreign debt.

Cinzia Alcidi is LUISS Research Fellow at CEPS, and Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

12 April 2012

In this CEPS Commentary, Daniel Gros examines the different approaches taken by the Fed and the ECB to bring about economic recovery following the financial crisis and finds that there is a qualitative difference between the two with respect to the risk each is assuming that is more important than the mere size of their balance-sheet.

Daniel Gros is the Director of CEPS.

30 March 2012

In this CEPS Commentary Alessandro Giovannini and Daniel Gros assess the decision taken at the informal Eurogroup meeting on the 30th of March to raise the lending ceiling of the European Stability Mechanism/European Financial Stability Facility, arguing that the size of the so-called 'firewall' will be insufficient, should larger member states like Spain or Italy require financial assistance.

28 March 2012

Europe’s policy-makers are engaged in protracted discussion on whether and how to increase the size of the euro rescue funds (the EFSF and the ESM).  In this Policy Brief, Daniel Gros and Thomas Mayer argue that this attention on the headline size of the EMS and EFSF is misplaced.  They propose that a simpler solution would be to register the ESM as a bank, with access to the ECB under the same conditions as apply to any normal bank.

23 March 2012

While acknowledging that the massive amounts of liquidity injected into the eurozone banking system by the ECB were absolutely necessary to save Europe’s banking system, Paul De Grauwe now criticizes these lender-of-last-resort operations as ill-designed, making it likely that the ECB will have to discontinue them in the not so distant future.

The author is Professor at the London School of Economics and Associate Senior Fellow at CEPS.

16 March 2012

Despite significant economic reforms in many EU neighbouring countries in the Southern Mediterranean, their growth performance has on average been subdued. This study analyses the differences in growth performance and macroeconomic stability across Mediterranean countries, to draw lessons for the future. The main findings are that Southern Mediterranean countries should benefit from closer ties with the EU that result in higher levels of trade and FDI inflows, once the turbulence of the ‘Arab Spring’ is resolved, and from the development of financial markets and infrastructure.

15 March 2012

Excessive leverage and risk-taking by large international banks were the main causes of the 2008-09 financial crisis and the ensuing sharp drop in economic activity and employment. World leaders and central bankers promised that it would not happen again and, to this end, undertook to overhaul banking regulation, first and foremost by rectifying Basel prudential rules.