EU institutions

Can large primary surpluses solve Europe’s debt problem?

Barry Eichengreen, Ugo Panizza, 30 July 2014

For the debts of European countries to be sustainable, their governments will have to run large primary budget surpluses. But there are both political and economic reasons to question whether this is possible. The evidence presented in this column is not optimistic about Europe’s crisis countries. Whereas large primary surpluses for extended periods of time did occur in the past, they were always associated with exceptional circumstances.

Enhancing the transparency of the Bank of England’s Inflation Report

Jack McKeown, Lea Paterson, 18 July 2014

The Bank of England has introduced a series of changes aimed at enhancing the transparency of its flagship communication vehicle for monetary policy – the Inflation Report. This column by two BoE economists sets the rationale for these changes in the context of the economic literature.

An ever closer union?

Bruno Maçães, 9 July 2014

The debate on the future of the European Union is in full swing. In this column, Bruno Macaes – the Portuguese Minister for Europe – stresses the importance of policy coordination in achieving better integration. One way to do so is via a fiscal union, but this creates unity at the expense of diversity. A second way involves formal contracts and partnerships. But to make this approach less rigid, the political dialogue does not need to be formalised in actual contracts.

Why Europe needs two euros, not one

Jacques Melitz, 2 July 2014

As the Eurozone cautiously implements stabilising reforms, Germany is forced to go further with concessions than it would prefer. This column suggests that it would be beneficial for discontented members to consider the formation of a second monetary union. The second euro can be constructed better than the first, bringing the discontented members exchange-rate adjustments relative to Germany, and avoiding competitive devaluations.

Bail-in rules in EU banking union and financial stability

Stefano Micossi, 5 June 2014

The European banking union is in pressing need of a unified banking resolution mechanism, but public bail-in has become increasingly unpopular. This column details new legislation towards a single resolution mechanism in the EU that minimises public exposure. The shareholders of an insolvent bank will be the first to take the hit, followed by creditors, before the public. This has the advantage also of mitigating moral hazard.

Other Recent Articles:

Vox eBooks

CEPR Policy Research